Essays on Social Protection and Redistribution in Latin America [article]

Anja Gaentzsch, Universitätsbibliothek Der FU Berlin, Universitätsbibliothek Der FU Berlin
<span title="2018-08-17">2018</span>
The dissertation investigates the impact of the welfare state on various dimensions of poverty and inequality. It contains three empirical chapters that examine the effectiveness of social policy in reaching the poorest parts of society and increasing social mobility within and across generations in Peru and Chile. Chapter 2 quantifies the cross-sectional impact of the public tax and transfer system on poverty and inequality in Peru. It applies an extended income approach that accounts for the
more &raquo; ... alue of publicly-provided health, education and childcare services. Accounting for public services is important since they provide welfare, and unequal access to basic services is a main development challenge for low and middle income countries. The chapter finds that public social spending reduces overall income inequality by almost 7 Gini points. This reduction is mainly driven by in-kind benefits while the impact of taxation and direct cash transfers is small. Income differentials within regions explain approximately four fifths of overall inequality compared to differences between regions, which explain about one fifth. This ratio remains largely unaffected by public redistribution. Mean levels of welfare vary widely across regions. This is also because social spending achieves little poverty reduction. It decreases absolute poverty by 2-3 percentage points in terms of monetary income and up to 9 percentage points or 25% when accounting for public service use. The largest share of the poor, over 50%, are not reached by social assistance. It concludes that to tackle poverty more effectively, transfer levels and coverage need to be increased. Chapter 3 evaluates the impacts of Peru's Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme Juntos upon educational outcomes of beneficiary children. The findings associate Juntos participation with higher overall enrolment rates and years of schooling for children aged 12 to 18 years. This effect translates into a higher probability of finishing primary and entering secondary school for th [...]
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