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Multidimensional child poverty in South Korea: Developing measures to assess progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals

Weon, Soyoon, Pomati, Marco ORCID: and Nandy, Shailen ORCID: 2024. Multidimensional child poverty in South Korea: Developing measures to assess progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice 10.1332/17598273Y2023D000000009

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This article presents the development of a measure to assess the prevalence and patterning of multidimensional child poverty in South Korea. The first goal of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to reduce poverty in all its dimensions, and countries are increasingly developing their own measures of multidimensional poverty. This flourishing of different measures presents challenges for international comparisons. The article applies an internationally-validated method of assessing multidimensional poverty to demonstrate its suitability for use in a high-income Asian economy. Multidimensional child poverty is assessed by combining data on child material deprivation with their household income. Using data from the 2018 Korean National Children Survey, we show that child material deprivation is higher (15%) than income poverty (12%). When measured using a combined measure of material deprivation and income, around one in every three children in Korea were found to be either poor or vulnerable to poverty. These findings show that the official monetary poverty measure on its own may understate the percentage of children unable to afford necessities in Korea, as envisioned by international targets like the SDGs. In terms of policy, analysis of individual deprivations suggests that a combination of in-kind benefits such as vouchers for leisure activities or education and asset-building programmes as well as cash transfers are needed for tackling child poverty.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Bristol University Press
ISSN: 1759-8273
Funders: UKRI
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 January 2024
Date of Acceptance: 5 December 2023
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 14:26

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