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Poverty, inequality, and social policy in transition economies

Author

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  • Milanovic, Branko

Abstract

In examining what happens to poverty and income inequality during the early period of transition to a market economy, the author covers the period up to 1993. His analysis includes almost all transition economies that were not affected by wars, blockades, or embargoes. (In economies so affected, the intrinsic issues of transition are overshadowed by more basic issues of war or quasi-war economy and survival). The two key issues of social policy in transition economies are pension reform and better targeting of social assistance. Pensions represent 70 to 80 percent of cash social expenditures. No reduction of current levels of social spending (which is unsustainable) can be envisaged without pension reform. Better targeting of social assistance is needed because many universally or enterprise-provided benefits have been terminated, poverty has increased, and social programs lack funding. If poverty is on the rise and money is scarce, better targeting is the only option.

Suggested Citation

  • Milanovic, Branko, 1995. "Poverty, inequality, and social policy in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1530, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1530
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Milanovic Branko, 1994. "Cash Social Transfers, Direct Taxes, and Income Distribution in Late Socialism," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 175-197, April.
    2. Edward J. Bird & Johannes Schwarze & Gert G. Wagner, 1992. "The Changing Value of Human Capital in Eastern Europe: Lessons from the GDR," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 55, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Sandor Sipos, 1992. "Poverty Measurement in Central and Eastern Europe before the Transition to the Market Economy," Papers iopeps92/28, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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