Social Security in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Assessment

Carmelo Mesa-Lago

in Social Security in Developing Countries

Published in print February 1991 | ISBN: 9780198233008
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191678967 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Social Security in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Assessment

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This chapter concentrates on formal social security and its associated issues in Latin America and the Caribbean, and does not deal with programmes included under the broader definition of social security, such as famine prevention, agrarian reform, education, and employment promotion. It explains that a major reason for this exclusion is that the ‘formal’ concept is typical of the LAC countries, most of which rank as middle-income economies according to the World Bank classification. The chapter notes that the majority of these countries are urban, its labour force is mostly salaried, and it is rich in natural resources. It specifies that the term ‘social security’ is used in this chapter in its ‘formal’ sense, which, following the traditional ILO (International Labour Organization) concept covers several programmes such as: social insurances (old-age, disability, and survivor pensions; non-occupational sickness and maternity care, and corresponding monetary benefits; occupational accident and disease care, and monetary benefits; unemployment compensation); national health systems; and provident funds.

Keywords: social security; Latin America; Caribbean; middle-income economies; World Bank; urban; ILO; social insurance; national health; provident funds

Chapter.  15823 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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