Coalitional Realignment and the Adoption of Non-Contributory Social Insurance Programs in Latin America

Forthcoming in Socio-Economic Review

43 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2013  

Matthew E. Carnes

Georgetown University

Isabela Mares

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: November 7, 2013

Abstract

What explains the recent rise in non-contributory social insurance programs in Latin America? Since the 1990s, Latin American countries have enacted significant social policy reforms that have supplemented contributory insurance policies with new or expanded non-contributory programs, financed by general tax revenues. We present a political explanation for this phenomenon, arguing that the process of deindustrialization, and especially the increased labour insecurity that it entails, has changed the mix of social insurance policies favored by different individuals in the income and employment distributions. A long-term increase in economic insecurity has increased the relative demand for tax-financed, rather than contribution-financed, social insurance. Elected officials, especially those in the recent ‘rise of the Left’ in Latin America, have proven eager to meet these demands. We find strong evidence for this argument using both cross-national data on non-contributory pension policy adoption and individual-level data on policy preferences.

Keywords: Social policy, Economic reform, Employment, Public pensions, Latin America

JEL Classification: G23, H55, J32

Suggested Citation

Carnes, Matthew E. and Mares, Isabela, Coalitional Realignment and the Adoption of Non-Contributory Social Insurance Programs in Latin America (November 7, 2013). Forthcoming in Socio-Economic Review. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2351269

Matthew E. Carnes (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Isabela Mares

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

MC3320
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
92
Rank
231,073
Abstract Views
531