Protecting the poor: welfare politics in Latin America’s free market era Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Pribble, Jennifer E.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • Poverty levels in Latin America vary significantly across countries. By the late 1990s, the share of individuals living in poverty ranged from a low of 9.4 percent in Uruguay to a high of 79.7 percent in Honduras. This discrepancy points to an important puzzle: why do states in the region exhibit such divergent levels of social protection? My dissertation contributes to resolving this question by combining an in-depth study of Chile and Uruguay with a broader statistical analysis of Latin America. The project presents a new typology of social protection systems in the region and tests a theory of social policy reform during the current free-market era. Analyzing data gathered in more than 135 original interviews with Presidents, Senators, Deputies, Ministers, Under-secretaries, and local-level politicians, I find that the organizational structure of political parties and the design of previous policies are the primary determinants of differences in education, health, and social assistance reform since the adoption of free-market economic policies and the re-installation of democracy in the mid 1980s.
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  • In Copyright
  • Huber, Evelyne
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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