Nonresident senior fellow with the Global Economy and Development Program, Brookings
President of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association
"How can social insurance systems be redesigned to provide coverage to all?"
Social protection programs have been in place in Latin America for over 75 years. However, as a result of extensive informality, less than half the working population are covered by the contributory social insurance system.
How can social insurance systems be redesigned to provide coverage to all? Santiago Levy discussed the challenges of social protection in economies with large informal sectors, such as in Latin America. In doing so, a critical distinction between social insurance and social assistance programs is made: the former address risks which are common to all workers (e.g. illness, disability, death, longevity) while the latter focus on redistribution, which in turn focuses on a subset of the population, typically those living in poverty.