Abstract

Abstract:

Social policy in Latin America has traditionally failed to benefit the poor. Throughout most of the twentieth century, the main redistributive efforts in the region went into building welfare states. Social insurance schemes generally foster a "reverse Robin Hood effect" in which the poor are made to pay for the benefit of the rich. In addition, subsidies—another form of social policy commonly used in Latin America—have historically tended to go disproportionately to the urban middle classes. If the tremendous income disparities that characterize Latin American life are not mitigated, the stability of the region's democracies may be jeopardized.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 36-49
Launched on MUSE
2009-10-16
Open Access
No
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