Asset poverty in Korea: Levels and composition based on Wolff's definition


Kyo-seong Kim, College of Social Science, School of Social Welfare, Chung-Ang University, 211, Heuk-suk dong, Dong-jak gu, Seoul 156-756, Korea. E-mail:


Kim K-S, Kim YM. Asset poverty in Korea: levels and composition based on Wolff's definition

The main purpose of the study was to lay the groundwork for establishing a more effective asset-building policy through accurate measurement and analysis of the level and composition of the asset-poor Korean population. We defined four asset poverty lines according to the concepts of basic needs, limited period of time and wealth-type resources from Wolff's operational definition. The size of the Korean asset-poor population, when considered from the perspectives of net assets and liquid assets, was found to remain around 12.7–13.2 and 32.8–36.5 per cent respectively. This study suggests that it is necessary to establish a differentiated asset-building policy by age group and to prepare more realistic alternatives to solve housing problems, while empirically verifying the need for an accurate asset poverty line which reflects the definition of asset poverty.