Ascent to Bankruptcy

Financing Social Security in Latin America

This volume provides the most comprehensive review available of social security, health and safety, maternity, pension, unemployment, and welfare benefits programs in Latin America.
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In 1990, Carmelo Mesa-Lago, the foremost authority on social security in Latin America, concluded that all of the region's programs were imperiled, especially those in the most advanced nations. His study of twenty countries, originally sponsored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, critically reviews major financial problems, low and uneven population coverage, erosion in benefits, increasing costs, and the impact of social security on development.

In words that eerily echo current U.S. debates, Mesa-Lago analyzes virtually all social insurance programs: old age, disability and survivors' pensions; health care; occupational hazards; family allowances; and unemployment. For social security specialists, this impressive study will serve as a comprehensive regional handbook on the legal, administrative, and financial features of Latin America's programs. Students of comparative policy and applied economics will find Mesa-Lago's methodology, analytical framework, and policy recommendations invaluable.

about the author

Carmelo Mesa-Lago

Carmelo Mesa-Lago is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Carmelo Mesa-Lago