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Gender and Social Security Policy: Pitfalls and Possibilities

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  • Martha MacDonald

Abstract

Social security reform is high on the agenda of many governments around the world. In thinking about gender and social security policy it is useful to consider the implications of work in feminist economics for the evaluation of existing policies and proposed reforms. This paper identifies six key points and applies these to a range of social security provisions, including unemployment insurance, maternity benefits, family allowance and child benefits, pensions, social assistance and tax-based measures. The problems with traditional social security provisions are emphasized, drawing on the experiences of a variety of countries. Finally, the paper summarizes some implications regarding incentives, eligibility and benefit levels, and funding of these programs, taking into account countries at different levels of development.

Suggested Citation

  • Martha MacDonald, 1998. "Gender and Social Security Policy: Pitfalls and Possibilities," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:4:y:1998:i:1:p:1-25
    DOI: 10.1080/135457098338536
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gwendolyn Mink, 1995. "Wage work, family work, and welfare politics," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 95-98.
    2. Moser, Caroline O. N., 1989. "Gender planning in the third world: Meeting practical and strategic gender needs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(11), pages 1799-1825, November.
    3. Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990. "How Serious Is the Neglect of Intra-Household Inequality?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 866-881, September.
    4. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Incidence of Payroll Taxation: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 72-101, July.
    5. Konrad, Kai A & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1995. " Family Policy with Non-cooperative Families," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 581-601, December.
    6. Patricia M. Evans, 1988. "Work Incentives and the Single Mother: Dilemmas of Reform," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 14(2), pages 125-136, June.
    7. Linda Gordon, 1995. "Thoughts on the help for working parents plan," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 91-94.
    8. Woolley, Frances R, 1993. "The Feminist Challenge to Neoclassical Economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 485-500, December.
    9. Jones, G. & Savage, E., 1995. "Should Income Splitting Replace Australia's Personal Income Tax?," Papers 295, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
    10. Rebecca Blank, 1995. "Teen pregnancy: government programs are not the cause," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 47-58.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abd El Hamid Ali, Hoda, 2013. "Employment Status, Income Equality, and Poverty in Egypt," MPRA Paper 52578, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.
    2. Bertranou, Fabio M., 2001. "Pension Reform and Gender Gaps in Latin America: What are the Policy Options?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 911-923, May.
    3. repec:zbw:boesws:2 is not listed on IDEAS

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