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Poverty, inequality, and social policy in transition economies, Volume 1
 
Author:Milanovic, Branko; Collection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 1530
Date Stored:1995/11/01Document Date:1995/11/30
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Rural Poverty Reduction; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; Services & Transfers to Poor; Public Health Promotion; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Safety Nets and Transfers
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:(Historic)Social Protection
Report Number:WPS1530Sub Sectors:Pensions & Social Insurance
Volume No:1  

Summary: In examining what happens to poverty and income inequality during the early period of transition to a market economy, the author covers the period up to 1993. His analysis includes almost all transition economies that were not affected by wars, blockades, or embargoes. (In economies so affected, the intrinsic issues of transition are overshadowed by more basic issues of war or quasi-war economy and survival). The two key issues of social policy in transition economies are pension reform and better targeting of social assistance. Pensions represent 70 to 80 percent of cash social expenditures. No reduction of current levels of social spending (which is unsustainable) can be envisaged without pension reform. Better targeting of social assistance is needed because many universally or enterprise-provided benefits have been terminated, poverty has increased, and social programs lack funding. If poverty is on the rise and money is scarce, better targeting is the only option.

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