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The Growing Role Of Social Pensions: History, Taxonomy And Key Performance Indicators


  • Paul D. Collins
  • Andrew Podger
  • Keyong Dong
  • Robert Palacios
  • Charles Knox‐Vydmanov


SUMMARY Social pensions—government‐provided non‐contributory cash transfers to older people—are becoming an increasingly important element of public pension policy. While the history of social pensions is almost as long as social security itself, it is only in the last two decades that they have risen to prominence, particularly in the attempts of developing countries to fill a persistent coverage gap in their pension systems. This article begins by reviewing the history of social pensions, focusing on developments over the last two decades. It then goes on to explore an appropriate taxonomy of social pensions, attempting to move on from the simplistic (and often problematic) division of universal and means‐tested schemes. Drawing on evidence from HelpAge International's Social Pensions Database, the article presents new indicators that can be used to assess the scope of social pensions. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Paul D. Collins & Andrew Podger & Keyong Dong & Robert Palacios & Charles Knox‐Vydmanov, 2014. "The Growing Role Of Social Pensions: History, Taxonomy And Key Performance Indicators," Public Administration & Development, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 251-264, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:padxxx:v:34:y:2014:i:4:p:251-264

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