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Poverty among the Elderly in Latin America and the Caribbean


  • Gasparini, Leonardo
  • Alejo, Javier
  • Haimovich, Francisco
  • Olivieri, Sergio
  • Tornarolli, Leopoldo


This paper provides evidence on the incidence of poverty among the elderly in Latin America and the Caribbean, based on household survey microdata from 20 countries. The situation of older people is characterized in terms of income, employment, education, health and access to services vis-à-vis the rest of the population. The paper identifies the role played by the current pension systems in Latin America, and assesses the efforts needed to achieve substantial improvements toward the reduction of old-age poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Gasparini, Leonardo & Alejo, Javier & Haimovich, Francisco & Olivieri, Sergio & Tornarolli, Leopoldo, 2007. "Poverty among the Elderly in Latin America and the Caribbean," MPRA Paper 42957, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42957

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martín Cicowiez & Leonardo Gasparini & Federico Gutierrez & Leopoldo Tornarolli, 2006. "Areas Rurales y Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio en America Latina y el Caribe," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0043, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    2. Grootaert, Christiaan & Braithwaite, Jeanine, 1998. "Poverty correlates and indicator-based targeting in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1942, The World Bank.
    3. Whitehouse, Edward, 2000. "How poor are the old? a survey of evidence from 44 countries," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 23141, The World Bank.
    4. Steven Haider & David Loughran, 2001. "Elderly Labor Supply: Work or Play?," Working Papers 01-09, RAND Corporation.
    5. Gasparini Leonardo & Leonardo Tornaroli, 2009. "Labor Informality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Patterns and Trends from Household Survey Microdata," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.
    6. Nanak Kakwani & Kalanidhi Subbarao, 2005. "Ageing and poverty in africa and the role of social pensions," Working Papers 8, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    7. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
    8. Barrientos, Armando & Gorman, Mark & Heslop, Amanda, 2003. "Old Age Poverty in Developing Countries: Contributions and Dependence in Later Life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 555-570, March.
    9. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_paxson_poverty_children_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Nord, Mark & Bickel, Gary, 2002. "Measuring Children'S Food Security In U.S. Households, 1995-99," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33801, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    11. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-361, December.
    12. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Measuring Poverty among the Elderly," NBER Chapters,in: Inquiries in the Economics of Aging, pages 169-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vanesa Valeria D'Elia, 2013. "Changes in pension inequality: A decomposition analysis of Argentina, 1995-2009," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 50(1), pages 48-81, May.
    2. Guisan, M.C. & Aguayo, E., 2007. "Health Expenditure, Poverty and Economic Development in Latin America 2000-2005," International Journal of Applied Econometrics and Quantitative Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 4(2), pages 5-24.
    3. Brooks Evans & Robert Palacios, 2015. "Who is Poorer?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24992, The World Bank.
    4. Walter Sosa Escudero & Anil K. Bera, 2008. "Tests for Unbalanced Error Component Models Under Local Misspecication," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0065, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    5. Mariana Marchionni & Germán Bet & Ana Pacheco, 2007. "Empleo, Educación y Entorno Social de los Jóvenes: Una Nueva Fuente de Información," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0061, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    6. Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul & Bando, Rosangela, 2016. "Non-contributory pensions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 47-58.
    7. Sule Sahin & Adem Yavuz Elveren, 2009. "A Cost Analysis of a Minimum Pension Guarantee for the Individual Pension System in Turkey," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2009_13, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    8. Maribel Jimenez & Monica Jimenez, 2009. "La Movilidad Intergeneracional del Ingreso: Evidencia para Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0084, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    9. Leonardo Gasparini & Walter Sosa-Escudero & Mariana Marchionni & Sergio Olivieri, 2013. "Multidimensional poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean: new evidence from the Gallup World Poll," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(2), pages 195-214, June.
    10. Akanksha Srivastava & Sanjay Mohanty, 2012. "Poverty Among Elderly in India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 493-514, December.
    11. Pundarik Mukhopadhaya & Sunil Venaik, 2014. "Old-Age Income Insecurity in Singapore: A Problem of Non-Inclusive Development," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3-4), pages 184-206, December.
    12. Javier Olivera & Blanca Zuluaga, 2014. "The Ex‐Ante Effects Of Non‐Contributory Pensions In Colombia And Peru," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 949-973, October.
    13. Ricardo Bebczuk, 2009. "SME Access to Credit in Guatemala and Nicaragua: Challenging Conventional Wisdom with New Evidence," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0080, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    14. Leonardo Gasparini & Walter Sosa Escudero & Mariana Marchionni & Sergio Olivieri, 2008. "Income, Deprivation, and Perceptions in Latin America and the Caribbean: New Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3248, Inter-American Development Bank.
    15. Diego Battiston & Francisco Franchetti, 2008. "Inequality in Health Coverage, Empirical Analysis with Microdata for Argentina 2006," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0063, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    16. Armando Barrientos & Dario Debowicz & Ingrid Woolard, 2014. "Antipoverty Transfers and Inclusive Growth in Brazil," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series iriba_wp04, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    17. Javier Alejo, 2010. "Transición Demográfica y Pobreza en América Latina. Un Análisis de Microsimulaciones," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0108, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    18. Ricardo N. Bebczuk, 2008. "Dolarización y Pobreza en Ecuador," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0066, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    19. Ojimba, Thankgod Peter, 1. "Socio-Demographic Factors As Determinants Of Poverty In Crude Oil Polluted Crop Farms In Rivers State, Nigeria," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 1.
    20. Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul & Bando, Rosangela, 2016. "Non-contributory pensions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 47-58.
    21. Leopoldo Tornarolli & Adriana Conconi, 2007. "Informalidad y Movilidad Laboral: Un Análisis Empírico para Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0059, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

    More about this item


    elderly; ageing; poverty; Latin America; Caribbean;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics


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