Understanding the Brazilian social policy model: Myths, milestones and Dynamic Social Security

Milko Matijascic
Stephen J. Kay

Volume 67 (2014), Issue 3-4

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Since Brazil's re-democratization in 1985, the country's system of social protection has become more focused on the neediest population groups while at the same time emphasizing universal access. In a context of severe inequality, the sub-national units of government have played a greater role in reaching the broader population. Yet Brazil's social protection model favours cash transfers over social services, and reduces inequalities in the context of a highly unequal labour market. Strategies based on cash transfers appear to have reached their limits, because they are not the most effective way to promote equality and generate opportunities, when compared to the outcomes obtained by social service provision. Furthermore, while much progress toward reducing inequality has been achieved, benefits and services continue to fall short of what might be considered as typifying a welfare state or "Dynamic Social Security".

Extension of coverage
Social policies & programmes
social security planning
social development
economic development