Social Security in Developing Countries

ISBN : 9780198860150

Ehtisham Ahmad; Jean Dreze; John Hills; Amartya Sen
480 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2020
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The term 'social security' has a very different meaning in underdeveloped countries and is best understood as poverty alleviation. This work seeks to define social security in its various forms and to examine what types of programmes are most suitable for developing countries.

The authors review current literature on the subject. Some chapters explore broad themes, while others describe social security provisions in various regions in South Asia, China, Latin America, and Southern Africa. Western systems are compared and broad assessments made of the traditional social security systems in village societies.

The editors aim to put the subject of social security firmly on the agenda of development economic research with a view to stimulate much further research in this area. The volume is written in a way that will be accessible to a much wider audience.


Part I General Issues

1 Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen: Public Action for Social Security: Foundations and Strategy

2 Robin Burgess, and Nicholas Stern: Social Security in Developing Countries: What, Why, Who, and How?

3 A. B. Atkinson and John Hills: Social Security in Developed Countries: Are There Lessons for Developing Countries?

4 Jean-Philippe Platteau: Traditional Systems of Social Security and Hunger Insurance: Past Achievements and Modern Challenges

5 Bina Agarwal: Social Security and the Family: Coping with Seasonality and Calamity in Rural India

PART II Case-Studies

6 Ehtisham Ahmad and Athar Hussain: Social Security in China: A Historical Perspective

7 S. R. Osmani: Social Security in South Asia

8 Carmelo Mesa-Lago: Social Security in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Assessment

9 Joachim von Braun: Social Security in Sub Saharan Africa: Reflections on Policy Challenges

10 Morgan Richard: Social Security in the SADCC States of Southern Africa: Social Welfare Programmes and the Reduction of Household Vulnerability

About the author: 

Ehtisham Ahmad is an economist currently directing the Financing Sustainable Urban Transitions with the Coalition of Urban Transitions. Ahmad is a Senior Fellow at the University of Bonn and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics since 2010. Ahmad held senior positions in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund for two decades. ; Jean Dreze, development economist, has taught at the London School of Economics and the Delhi School of Economics and is currently Visiting Professor at Ranchi University. He has made wide-ranging contributions to development economics and public policy, with special reference to India. He is co-author (with Amartya Sen) of Hunger and Public Action (Oxford University Press, 1989), An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions (Penguin, 2013), and Sense and Solidarity (OUP: 2019). ; John Hills is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the London School of Economics. His research interests include income distribution and the welfare state, social security, housing and taxation. He led an independent review of the measurement of fuel poverty for the Department of Energy and Climate Change that reported in March 2012. He was also Chair of the National Equality Panel (2008-2010), carried out a review of the aims of social housing for the Secretary of State for Communities in 2006-07 and was one of the three members of the UK Pensions Commission from 2003 to 2006. He was Co-Director of the LSE's Welfare State Programme (1988-1997), and Senior Adviser to the Commission of Inquiry into Taxation, Zimbabwe (1984-86). He worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (1982-84), for the House of Commons Select Committee on the Treasury (1980-82), and at the Department of the Environment (1979-80).; Amartya Sen teaches economics and philosophy at Harvard University, and was previously Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has served as President of the American Economic Association, the Indian Economic Association, the International Economic Association, and the Econometric Society. His awards include the Bharat Ratna (India), Commandeur de la legion d'honneur (France), the National Humanities Medal (USA), Honorary Companion of Honour (UK), Ordem Nacional do Merito Cientifico (Brazil), and the Nobel Prize in Economics.

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