Basic Income Policy of Korea

Dawon Kim, Jai S. Mah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Basic income, defined as a periodic cash payment delivered unconditionally to all citizens, has become a controversial issue in some countries. It aims to alleviate poverty. This paper describes the experiments of the basic income policy conducted in Finland and Canada. Then it describes the Young Adults Dividends program in Seongnam City in South Korea. Although the program in Seongnam City does not show apparent evidence of having a positive impact on employment, it has been successful in relieving the burden of high living expenses for young citizens. This paper derives policy implications from the experience of South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Poverty
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Another example is the “Shimpyo” (Comma) project which was conducted in the Cheolla-buk-do province, which received more interest from the public with 2,526 applicants in 2017. This project was promoted by a small local church, Hwa-pyeong Church, providing 500,000 Korean won (about US$450) every month for six consecutive months to four participants who were randomly selected. The financial support was given by the church due to its association to the Cheolla-buk-do basic income network organization. Every week, the church would collect voluntary donations in order to finance the project. One of the recipients commented afterward that the temporary receipt of basic income helped create more balance in her life with the extra time and economic support for her to become more relaxed (Chun, ). The Tio Su-Ki and Shimpyo projects were very small-scale pilot experiments regarding basic income, while they were not related to the policy of the government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Basic income policy
  • South Korea
  • young adults dividends program


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