Conditional cash transfer programs and non-contributory pension schemes have sprung up across Latin America in the last decade. Professor Wendy Hunter lays out some of the ways these programs may be changing society.
Following the structural adjustment that Latin American economies underwent in the 1980s and 90s, social policies aimed at reducing poverty and enhancing equity assumed heightened importance. Economic recovery, technocratic initiatives, and the competitive dynamic of democracy itself led administrations from across the political spectrum to address longstanding social deficits. The policies adopted differ significantly from those of preceding periods. Conditional cash transfers (CCTs) and non-contributory pension programs are prominent among the social policy innovations that have helped to decrease poverty and increase equity in the past decade.