Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes
Social Policy, Informality, and Economic Growth in Mexico
By (author) Santiago Levy
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Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes by Santiago Levy
Book DescriptionDespite various reform efforts, Mexico has experienced economic stability but little growth. Today more than half of all Mexican workers are employed informally, and one out of every four is poor. Good Intentions, Bad Outcomes argues that incoherent social programs significantly contribute to this state of affairs and it suggests reforms to improve the situation. Over the past decade, Mexico has channeled an increasing number of resources into subsidizing the creation of low-productivity, informal jobs. These social programs have hampered growth, fostered illegality, and provided erratic protection to workers, trapping many in poverty. Informality has boxed Mexico into a dilemma: provide benefits to informal workers at the expense of lower growth and reduced productivity or leave millions of workers without benefits. Former finance official Santiago Levy proposes how to convert the existing system of social security for formal workers into universal social entitlements. He advocates eliminating wage-based social security contributions and raising consumption taxes on higher-income households to simultaneously increase the rate of growth of GDP, reduce inequality, and improve benefits for workers. Good Intentions , Bad Outcomes c onsiders whether Mexico can build on the success of Progresa-Oportunidades, a targeted poverty alleviation program that originated in Mexico and has been replicated in over 25 countries as well as in New York City. It sets forth a plan to reform social and economic policy, an essential element of a more equitable and sustainable development strategy for Mexico.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780815752196
(229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Brookings Institution
Publisher: Brookings Institution
Publish Date: 1-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Santiago Levy
No Growth without Equity?, Paperback (March 2009)
This book examines the relationship between equity and growth in Mexico. It looks at how specific inequalities in power, wealth and status have created and sustained economic institutions and polices that both tend to perpetuate these inequalities and are sources of inefficiencies and lack of dynamism in the economy.
Progress Against Poverty, Paperback (November 2006)» View all books by Santiago Levy
In 1997, Mexico launched a new program to combat poverty. The revolutionary program has become an important example of a sustainable and scalable poverty reduction strategy in the developing world. This title offers a different perspective on the development of the program, the reasons for its success, and its applicability in other nations.
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Author Biography - Santiago Levy
Santiago Levy is former general director of the Mexican Social Security Institute. From 1994 to 2000, he served as deputy minister of finance in Mexico and was the main architect of the Progresa-Oportunidades program.
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