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The Political Economy of the Welfare State in Latin America
Globalization, Democracy, and Development

  • Date Published: October 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107410664

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About the Authors
  • This book is one of the first attempts to analyze how developing countries through the early twenty-first century have established systems of social protection (i.e. pension and poverty programs, and public health and education systems) and how these systems have been affected by the recent processes of globalization (i.e. greater exposure to international trade and capital markets) and democratization. The book focuses on Latin American - a pioneer in social policies in the developing world - to identify factors associated with the evolution of welfare state policies during the pre-globalization period (1920-1979), and studies how globalization and democratization in the last 25 years have affected governments' fiscal commitment to social spending.

    • Most comprehensive study of the modern welfare state in Latin America available
    • Author uses unusually broad cross-national analysis and explains econometric techniques in his usage
    • Emphasizes how globalization/democratization have affected 'the big picture' in Latin America
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Alex Segura-Ubiergo has written a fascinating book on the most vexing question in the ongoing debate on globalization: namely, to what extent, if any, does globalization handicap those who wish to maintain a welfare state at home? It will prove to be an invaluable resource and cannot be ignored by any scholar or policymaker who wants to think responsibly about globalization.” -- Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Economics and Law, Columbia University & Author of In Defense of Globalization

    “The Latin American welfare system is under stress. This book shows why, and what might be done. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with the political economy of the region.” -- Albert Fishlow, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

    “This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of economic and political factors shaping the development of welfare states in Latin America. The combination of statistical analyses of social expenditures with comparative-historical analyses of three cases offers both theoretically grounded understanding of causal complexities and a broad picture of general tendencies. It is a truly fine piece of work and mandatory reading for all those interested in the possibilities for constructing decent systems of social protection, or welfare states in Latin America.” -- Evelyne Huber, University of North Carolina

    “Segura-Ubiergo has made a major contribution to our understanding of how governments respond to the challenges of social welfare provision in an era of democratic governance and economic integration. The conclusions are based on an impressive combination of quantitative analysis, qualitative comparisons, and case studies, a model of outstanding comparative research. Although the focus is on Latin America, it is must reading for anyone interested in the political economy of social protection and human capital development.” -- Robert Kaufman, Rutgers University

    “Recent waves of protests have reminded us that globalization is a complex phenomenon. In this fascinating book, Alex Segura-Ubiergo leads us to a tour through history, politics, and economics to understand the future of welfare state and globalization in Latin America. This is a fundamental book to understand the `social sustainability' of globalization. Political scientists, economists, historians, politicians will all find very interesting insights in it.” -- Antonio Spilimbergo, Research Department, International Monetary Fund

    “Like quantum physics, if you think that you understand the political economy of the evolution of the welfare state, then you don't. So in either case-because you already know that you don't understand it, or because you mistakenly think you do-then you will greatly benefit from Alex Segura-Ubiergo's careful and insightful study. This book is an important and provocative piece on the evolution of the welfare state in Latin America, where, as in elsewhere, the conflicting pressures of globalization on social protection (increased demand vs. reduced effective provision) pose one of the most challenging social issues today. Moreover, the lessons drawn from this thorough research ought to be relevant for countries in all regions, and all stages of democracy and development.” -- Eduardo Ley, Lead Economist, World Bank

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107410664
    • length: 342 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The historical evolution of welfare systems in Latin America: qualitative comparative analysis
    3. Theoretical framework and main hypotheses
    4. Determinants of social spending in Latin America: a time-series cross-section analysis, 1973–2003
    5. Chile: a classic Latin America welfare state under authoritarian stress (1973–89) and democratic revolution (1990–2000)
    6. Costa Rica: globalization, gradual reform, and the politics of compensation, 1973–2002
    7. Peru: political instability, regime change and late economic reform in a (non-)welfare state, 1973–2002
    8. Conclusion: summary and final reflections on the sustainability and effectiveness of Latin American welfare systems.

  • Author

    Alex Segura-Ubiergo, International Monetary Fund

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