Date of Completion
Social Protection; Welfare; Latin America; Social Assistance; Welfare Generosity; Typology; Electoral Competition
Lyle A. Scruggs
Matthew M. Singer
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Social policies are about extending social rights and providing a safety net that allows citizens to have a minimum standard of living independently of market forces, and have become increasingly important for citizens as countries in the Global South have undertaken market reforms, faced economic crises, and experienced changing labor conditions towards increasingly informal and vulnerable work. This research project joins a growing body of work that investigates how countries in Latin America have differed in the development of adequate systems of social protection, with a focus on social assistance policies and the generosity of welfare entitlements. I argue that combining the traditional social security view of the welfare state with the emerging scholarship on social assistance provides a comprehensive view of welfare. Based on an original data collection and a cluster analysis I propose a new multidimensional typology of social policy regimes. The typology yields four types of social policy regimes: Inclusive, Compensatory, Restrictive and Exclusionary. I show that the first two regime types are associated with greater improvements in social welfare and human development outcomes regardless of their level of social expenditures. I explain the variation across the country cases based on a qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) of economic, social and political characteristics. I show that alternative configurations of factors produce social policy regimes of varying generosity. Where Left parties have been competitive since the return of democracy and consistently vied for middle class votes we find more generous social policy regimes.
Tafoya, Gabriela, "Social Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean: Welfare Generosity and Electoral Dynamics in Comparative Perspective" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations. 2291.
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