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Political dimensions of social protection in Brazil

Goals, Issues and Trajectories in China, India, Brazil and South Africa

Anthony Hall

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Anthony Hall

This chapter by Anthony Hall takes a critical look at cash transfers in Brazil and assesses their strengths and limitations as promoting social investments. Brazil’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) scheme, the world’s largest, which benefits more than a quarter of the country’s total population of more than 200 million, appears to embrace certain elements of a social investment approach, at least in principle. Following World Bank policy guidelines on CCTs, Bolsa Fam'lia aims to strengthen human capital formation by boosting school attendance and encouraging mothers’ participation in vaccination and other preventive health care campaigns. Although the government has announced plans to make the programme more production-oriented, there are few direct links with employment creation, which have remained largely hypothetical. Furthermore, in the quest to maximize electoral gains through a focus on widening cash benefits, there has been a noticeable failure to make any significant headway with broader and longer-term social investments in health, basic sanitation, education, and housing, for example. Such broad-based infrastructure support would serve to underpin the process of economic growth in a more sustainable fashion. This underlying tension will continue to frustrate any pretensions that Brazil might harbour towards developing an authentic social investment model, at least for the foreseeable future. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, Bolsa Familia, social protection, Brazil

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Anthony Hall

This content is available to you

Anthony Hall

This content is available to you

Anthony Hall

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Anthony Hall

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Anthony Hall

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Anthony Hall

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Anthony Hall

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Anthony Hall