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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2008): Social security - overseas

Doing a bit more for the poor? Social assistance in Latin America

P. Lloyd-Sherlock

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 37, 2008, p. 621-639

Social assistance programmes involving cash transfers to poor families have become a major focus of development policy in recent years. This article compares three such programmes in Latin America: Oportunidades in Mexico, Jefes y Jefas de Hogares in Argentina, and Brazil's social pension. Particular attention is paid to each programme's administrative effectiveness, as well as their impacts on poverty, human capital and household and gender dynamics.

The extent of adequacies of poverty alleviation strategies: Hong Kong and China perspectives

P.K. Panday

Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, vol. 24, 2008, p. 179-189

This paper explores strategies adopted by the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to alleviate poverty and compares their effectiveness. The analysis is based on secondary data collected from newspapers, books and articles, and the internet. The Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) scheme in Hong Kong and the Minimum Living Standard Scheme (MLSS) in China have been selected as the focus for discussion. The CSSA is targeted to solve immediate concrete social problems and to prevent social conflict and unrest, rather than dealing with poverty in the longer term. The MLSS reflects the Chinese state's emphasis on rapid economic growth and indifference to redistribution. It is also likely to provide short-term poverty relief rather than long-term poverty reduction.

Opportunity New York City

N. Branosky

Working Brief, issue 196, 2008, p. 12-14

Opportunity New York City is a series of programmes to reduce poverty through conditional cash transfers. Families in poverty are offered cash transfers tied to efforts to improve 1) children's educational attainment; 2) family members' preventative health care; and 3) parents' workforce outcomes. Adults receiving housing subsidies are offered cash transfers tied to workforce outcomes. Finally, children are offered cash rewards for performing well in tests throughout the school year. Over 40 pilot programmes are now up and running.

Social security, the economy and development

J. Midgley and K. Tang (editors)

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

This book explores the complex relationship between social security and economic development, arguing that social security contributes positively to economic development by promoting social investments that not only foster economic growth but enhance social welfare for all. The book analyses the various forms of social security, and, through comprehensive analysis of country experiences, demonstrates that the relationship between social security and economic development defies the simplistic interpretations currently popular in literature on the subject. A variety of country case studies are explored including Britain, Chile, China, India, Korea, Norway, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.

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