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Achieving Effective Social Protection for All in Latin America and the Caribbean : From Right to Reality


  • Helena Ribe
  • David A. Robalino
  • Ian Walker


Slow progress in improving the coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean's (LAC's) traditional social protection (SP) programs, combined with the deepening of democracy, have led to calls for a new social contract to provide effective social protection to all citizens. This book highlights the main findings of a regional study by the World Bank, from right to reality: how Latin America and the Caribbean can achieve universal social protection by improving redistribution and adapting programs to labor markets. The report analyzes LAC's social insurance (SI) systems and highlights growing concerns about the incentives they may create and the behaviors they may incite on the part of workers, employers and service providers. It offers an economic analysis of the roots of these problems and suggests a way forward to achieve universal coverage in an equitable manner. The report argues that a coherent overall vision for the SP system should be established if such problems are to be understood and resolved. The goal is to turn the theoretical right to social protection, which is enshrined in many of the region's constitutions and laws, into a reality for all of LAC's population. A central message of the report is that SP systems need to respond to the realities of LAC's labor markets, especially the prevalence of informality and frequent changes of employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Helena Ribe & David A. Robalino & Ian Walker, 2010. "Achieving Effective Social Protection for All in Latin America and the Caribbean : From Right to Reality," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2479.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2479

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dorfman, Mark & Hinz, Richard & Robalino, David, 2008. "The Financial Crisis and Mandatory Pension Systems in Developing Countries: Short- and Medium-term Responses," MPRA Paper 12254, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2008.
    2. repec:idb:idbbks:365 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gregorio Impavido & Esperanza Lasagabaster & Manuel Garcia-Huitron, 2010. "New Policies for Mandatory Defined Contribution Pensions : Industrial Organization Models and Investment Products," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2462, September.
    4. repec:idb:brikps:60278 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Barrientos, Armando, 2011. "On the Distributional Implications of Social Protection Reforms in Latin America," WIDER Working Paper Series 069, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. World Bank, 2012. "Republic of Lebanon--Good Jobs Needed : The Role of Macro, Investment, Education, Labor and Social Protection Policies," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13217, The World Bank.
    3. Alejandro Del Valle, 2013. "Is Formal Employment Discouraged by the Provision of Free. Health Services to the Uninsured ? Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Mexico," PSE Working Papers halshs-00838000, HAL.
    4. Andrews, Colin & Kryeziu, Adea & Seo, Dahye, 2014. "World Bank support for social safety nets 2007-2013 : a review of financing, knowledge services, and results," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 90187, The World Bank.


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