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Reassembling Social Security

Reassembling Social Security A Survey of Pensions and Health Care Reforms in Latin America

  • Author:
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 9780199644612
  • Published In: March 2012
  • Format: Paperback , 480 pages
  • Jurisdiction: Latin America ? Disclaimer:
    Countri(es) stated herein are used as reference only

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  • Description 
  • Contents 
  • Author 
  • Reviews
  • Details

    • Integrates the analysis of pension and healthcare reforms in 20 countries in Latin America
    • 42 comparative tables compare the 40 reforms in terms of coverage, equity and solidarity, sufficiency of benefits, privatization, state regulation, decentralization, efficiency, social participation in management, administrative costs, financial sources, and sustainability
    • Fully expanded evaluation of all 40 reforms
    • Features statistics and numerous examples of individual countries

    The reform of social security pensions and healthcare is a key issue for the modern world, and in many ways Latin America has acted as a social laboratory for the reform of these systems. From the reforms that took place in Chile in 1981, most pension and health care systems in the region have seen reform, and been fully or partially privatized. Many other countries considering reform of their own systems have been influenced by the policies implemented in Latin America. 

    Yet despite the importance and influence of these reforms, until now there has not been an integrated and comprehensive analysis of the changes and their effects. This book is the result of four years of painstaking work, data collection, field research, and international collaboration, and so fills the vacuum in the literature with a systematic comparison of pension and healthcare reforms in the 20 Latin American countries. 

    It identifies reform models, and elaborates taxonomies to facilitate their understanding and comparison. Some key features of the reforms to emerge are: labour force and population coverage, equity and solidarity, sufficiency and quality of benefits, state regulation, competition and degree of privatization, efficiency and administrative costs, social participation in management, financing sources and long-term sustainability. Effects of the reforms on social security principles are measured based on recent standardized statistics and other information. Goals or assumptions of the reforms are contrasted with actual outcomes, and the pros and cons of private versus private provision assessed. Detailed policy recommendations are offered to correct current problems and improve pension and healthcare systems. 

    This is the first book to comprehensively study these influential reforms in Latin America's pension and health care systems, and as such will be of importance to academics and researchers interested in social security and welfare policy, pensions, health care, and public policy; social security, pension, and health care policy-makers; and social security, pension, and health care consultants and practitioners.

    Readership: Academics and researchers across the Social Sciences interested in social security and welfare policy, pensions, health care, and public policy; social security, pension, and health care policy-makers; social security, pension, and health care consultants and practitioners.

    • Integrates the analysis of pension and healthcare reforms in 20 countries in Latin America
    • 42 comparative tables compare the 40 reforms in terms of coverage, equity and solidarity, sufficiency of benefits, privatization, state regulation, decentralization, efficiency, social participation in management, administrative costs, financial sources, and sustainability
    • Fully expanded evaluation of all 40 reforms
    • Features statistics and numerous examples of individual countries

    The reform of social security pensions and healthcare is a key issue for the modern world, and in many ways Latin America has acted as a social laboratory for the reform of these systems. From the reforms that took place in Chile in 1981, most pension and health care systems in the region have seen reform, and been fully or partially privatized. Many other countries considering reform of their own systems have been influenced by the policies implemented in Latin America. 

    Yet despite the importance and influence of these reforms, until now there has not been an integrated and comprehensive analysis of the changes and their effects. This book is the result of four years of painstaking work, data collection, field research, and international collaboration, and so fills the vacuum in the literature with a systematic comparison of pension and healthcare reforms in the 20 Latin American countries. 

    It identifies reform models, and elaborates taxonomies to facilitate their understanding and comparison. Some key features of the reforms to emerge are: labour force and population coverage, equity and solidarity, sufficiency and quality of benefits, state regulation, competition and degree of privatization, efficiency and administrative costs, social participation in management, financing sources and long-term sustainability. Effects of the reforms on social security principles are measured based on recent standardized statistics and other information. Goals or assumptions of the reforms are contrasted with actual outcomes, and the pros and cons of private versus private provision assessed. Detailed policy recommendations are offered to correct current problems and improve pension and healthcare systems. 

    This is the first book to comprehensively study these influential reforms in Latin America's pension and health care systems, and as such will be of importance to academics and researchers interested in social security and welfare policy, pensions, health care, and public policy; social security, pension, and health care policy-makers; and social security, pension, and health care consultants and practitioners.

     

    Readership: Academics and researchers across the Social Sciences interested in social security and welfare policy, pensions, health care, and public policy; social security, pension, and health care policy-makers; social security, pension, and health care consultants and practitioners.

  • Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh

    Carmelo Mesa-Lago is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and has been a visiting professor or researcher in Argentina, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as a lecturer in 36 countries in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. He is the author of 73 books/monographs and about 240 articles/chapters published in 8 languages in 33 countries, most of them on social security including pensions and healthcare. He has worked in all Latin America countries and several in the Caribbean, as well as in Germany, Egypt, Ghana, and Thailand, as a regional advisor for ECLAC, a consultant with the ILO, the International Social Security Association (ISSA), PAHO, UNRISD, UNDP, and other U.N. branches, as well as most international financial organizations (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank), and national and foreign foundations.

  • Review(s) from previous edition

    "The very successful career of Carmelo Mesa-Lago has been always characterized by the thoroughness of his arguments and the enormous richness of the empirical evidence he uses to support them. His latest book is the culmination of that scientific effort centered in promoting more effective and equitable social policies. It offers a demolishing criticism of the [structural] reforms but never falls into simplistic or superficial arguments, presenting instead numerous facets that enrich our understanding of such processes... a monumental work that excels for its wealth of information, rigor of the proposals, and the very interesting and ambitious research agenda that leaves us for the future - Diego Sánchez-Ancochea, América Latina Hoy: Revista de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Salamanca

    "This compendious volume by Latin America's most respected social security scholar...is undoubtedly the definitive account of the marketization of pensions and health care in Latin America. It should be consulted not only by Latin American social security scholars but by anyone interested in issues of social policy, privatization and welfare. The author's painstaking research and wide knowledge and experience of the region has obviously informed this landmark study which objectively and dispassionately demonstrates ['using a wealth of statistical data'] that many claims about the positive effects of marketization have not been realized...Social security scholars will eagerly await Mesa-Lago's future reports on these developments" - James Midgley, University of California Berkeley, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

    "Mesa-Lago is an example of a university professor whose vast research has resulted in practical implementation, effectively contributed to the development of several disciplines, [and] significantly advanced the social sciences particularly economics through his valuable studies on poverty and social security. His works have no epitome Although there is an important literature on the theme of his book, published by international and regional organizations, we needed a comprehensive and comparative study of pension and health care reforms in all Latin American countries. This book fills that vacuum [and] we are sure that it will stimulate the debate, improve the understanding of the reforms and, above all, lead to better pensions and health care in Latin America" - Luis Aparicio Valdés, Director Análisis Laboral, Lima,

    "Thirty years ago Carmelo Mesa-Lago published his book Social Security in Latin America: Pressure Groups, Stratification and Inequality, fruit of a monumental research effort that open a field virtually absent in the disciplines of economics, sociology and political science in Latin America...after that pioneering work and a remarkable academic life he gives us another book of colossal dimension Reassembling Social Security: A Survey of Pension and Health Care Reforms in Latin America, devoted to the evaluation of diverse social security reforms in the region, especially in the last decade" - Aldo Isuani, Profesor de FLACSO, Nueva Sociedad Buenos Aires

    "A meticulous and comprehensive analysis of the pensions and health-care reforms in Latin America [that] combines a detailed study of countries and the elaboration of taxonomies that contribute to the conceptualization and understanding of said reforms within a global framework...a monumental effort [that] illuminates the specificities and prevents against the risk of easy simplification in the evaluation of the nature and effects of the reforms...[and] allows the questioning of their defenders and detractors. A more than useful contribution to the debate that Latin American societies must do on social security" - Silvana Harriett, Cuadernos del CLAEH, Montevideo

    "This book is an outstanding achievement. Few could have written a book on welfare reform in Latin America with the depth of knowledge, acute understanding, and easy accessibility that Mesa Lago is able to use to illuminate on this subject. Our understanding of welfare reforms in the region is in large part due to his work. A wonderful bequest for those researching this area." - Armando Barrientos, Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester

    "This is a unique and updated piece of academic work with a policy oriented approach to Latin American social security issues. Because pensions and health care dominate most of Latin American social policy agenda but also have extremely relevant economic and fiscal consequences, this book is a must for everyone interested in a comprehensive view of this heterogeneous region. Therefore, the book is a valuable resource for experts on pensions, health care, social security, and Latin America." - Fabio M. Bertranou, Senior Social Security Specialist, International Labour Organizacion (ILO), Santiago, Chile

    "Without a doubt, Dr. Mesa-Lago's study is the most comprehensive, critical and accurate account of the evolution of social security systems -including an impact evaluation of recent reforms - in the 20 Latin American countries. A must read for policy-makers and scholars interested in social security systems." - Núria Homedes, MD, DrPh, Director of Global Health, University of Texas-Houston, School of Public Health, and Antonio Ugalde, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas-Austin, Department of Sociology

    "This book is an elegant and well-researched tour-de-force of Latin American pension and health reforms and their impacts. Drawing on five decades of work on social security systems in Latin America, Carmelo Mesa-Lago bridges the gap between pensions and health care through a cross-cutting analysis of vexing policy issues. This book will become an invaluable asset for all those grappling with the complexities of social policies in Latin America." - Gerard M. La Forgia, Lead Health Specialist, World Bank

    "This comprehensive volume is written by the most knowledgeable expert on Latin American pension and health care issues, a long-standing observer of social policy making on the subcontinent. His razor-sharp analysis and recommendations deserve many readers in Latin America and beyond." - Dr. Katharina Mueller, Professor of Social Policy, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences

    "Carmelo Mesa-Lago is one of the masters on economics of Social Security in Latin America. In the last three decades, his ideas, books and accurate papers had influenced many generations of social economists and policy makers in every country of the Region. This book is a new masterpiece that will contribute to update the knowledge about the achievements and challenges of the last generation of reforms on social security in Latin America." - André Medici, Senior Social Development Specialist, Inter American Development Bank

    "an invaluable source of information on specific programs, country by country, and on the positions and roles of various international organizations." - Joan M. Nelson, Latin American Research Review

    "A treasure trove that marries an analytical approach with deep, wide-ranging and long-standing understanding of country experiences. A must have for anyone interested in the tortuous path of social security reforms in Latin America and an up-to-date assessment of their outcomes." - Nicholas Barr, Professor of Public Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science

    "This book is an elegant and well-researched tour-de-force of Latin American pension and health care reforms and their impacts. Drawing on five decades of work on social security systems in the region, Mesa-Lago bridges the gap between pensions and health care through a cross-cutting analysis of vexing policy issues. This book will become an invaluable asset for all those grappling with the complexities of social policies in Latin America" - Gerard M. La Forgia, Lead Health Specialist, World Bank,

    "Without a doubt, Dr. Mesa-Lago's study is the most comprehensive, critical and accurate account of the evolution of social security systems-including an impact evaluation of recent reforms-in the 20 Latin American countries. A must read for policy-makers and scholars interested in social security systems" - Núria Homedes, Director of Global Health, School of Public Health, University of Texas-Houston, and Antonio Ugalde, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Texas-Austin

    "Carmelo Mesa-Lago is one of the masters on economics of social security in Latin America. In the last three decades, his ideas, books and accurate papers had influenced many generations of social economists and policy makers in every country of the region. This book is a new masterpiece that will contribute to update the knowledge about the achievements and challenges of the last generation of reforms on social security in Latin America" - André Medici, Senior Social Development Specialist, Inter American Development Bank

    "This outstanding book presents a complete and systematic comparison of pension and healthcare reforms in all twenty countries of Latin America the issues are addressed in a scholarly fashion and supported with solid data, balancing the positive and negative aspects of the reforms and identifying advantages and disadvantages of public and private systems to correct flaws of both and improve all types of systems and reforms" - International Social Security Review, Abstract, Geneva,

    "This book is particularly important at a time of...international financial meltdown...With its didactic presentation and quasi-encyclopedic coverage of over two-and-a-half decades of pensions and health-care reforms in Latin America and the Caribbean, it provides a precious tool for policy makers and social partners...The balanced and clear presentation of different reform models in their socioeconomic and historical contexts and future potential, [makes] this book an indispensable tool for understanding the basic and highly complex issues of welfare reform" - Hedva Sarfati, Former Director Dept. of Industrial Relations ILO, International Labour Review

    "This book is a tour de force by the maestro of social security systems in Latin America an invaluable source for students in the region The book's comprehensiveness and excellent organization makes it of great value for policymakers and researchers in the region and other parts of the world who are considering reforming their pension and health systems" - Juan Yermo, OECD, Journal of Pension Economics & Finance,

    "After more than 40 years of deep and extensive work on social security issues across the entire Latin American region, ['the enormous task of collecting information on 20 countries since the 1970s' to date], Mesa-Lago has completed this comprehensive book...a 'must' reference for anyone, particularly policy-makers...and a valuable book for any university course on Latin American social policy or economic development...an extremely useful research resource to help understand social policy-making and the effectiveness of it." - Fabio Bertranou, Senior Social Security Specialist ILO, International Social Security Review, Geneva

    "Over the last four decades Carmelo Mesa-Lago has been the most consistently authoritative analyst of social security in Latin America. [His new] book provides a comprehensive and masterly account of pension and health care reforms, reflecting the attributes one has come to expect from the author's work: depth of knowledge, acute understanding and easy accessibility... [it is] the definitive study on social security reforms in the region... This important book will find a wide readership, among specialists, researchers, practitioners and students" - Armando Barrientos, Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester, Journal of Latin American Studies,

    "This book presents the results of Mesa-Lago's studies over a 50-year period of social policy in the 20 countries in Latin America...Detailed and strict selection of data supports his voluminous analysis on social security pensions and healthcare reforms in the region that surpasses all his previous works...He goes further in providing a comprehensive, comparative and substantive academic evaluation of [such] reforms with the same theoretical framework." - Kanako Yamaoka, Institute of Developing Economies, Journal of Developing Economies, Tokyo

    "Mesa-Lago's new volume represents the essence of his life's work in the area of social policy... [His] insightful and compact analysis-that this review could only touch upon-is a must-read, not only for scholars of Latin American social policy...Oxford University Press should consider a paperback edition which would support the author's main concern: to convince many readers that a comprehensive, unified and equitable social security system need not remain a utopia in Latin America and elsewhere" - Katharina Müller, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Germany, Peripherie

    "This book is a tour de force." - Cambridge Journals: PCR

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