Unemployment Compensation throughout the World: A Comparative Analysis

By Wayne Vroman; Vera Brusentsev | Go to book overview

7

Unemployment Compensation in Latin American and Caribbean Countries

The countries of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean face serious economic challenges frequently manifested in high unemployment and/or high inflation. While the economic crisis in Argentina that commenced in late 2001 has received widespread attention, large increases in unemployment also occurred in Chile in 1999 and in Uruguay in 2001—2002. Recent economic statistics also show that the problem of high inflation has not disappeared from the region. Although episodes of hyperinflation did not return during the 1990s, inflation in Argentina during 2002 reached 40 percent while in Uruguay it was approximately 25 percent. 1 Providing social protection for the unemployed of this region presents unique challenges.

Of the 21 countries from this region, only 6 —all of which are in South America—have a formal UC program. The programs in South America are, however, relatively modest in scale—potential benefit duration is short and replacement rates are generally low. Recipiency rates are also relatively low (see Panel D of Table 3.3). These aspects of UC programs are explored in the first section of this chapter. Particular attention is given to the association between inflation and UC replacement rates because past inflation has been severe in many Latin American and Caribbean countries. It is argued that without effective indexation provisions, high inflation would quickly erode the real value of monthly benefits.

The second section examines UC administration in four South American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. The discussion highlights the important ways in which the administrative arrangements in these countries deviate from those in the OECD-20 countries, arrangements that are more familiar to most readers. As a broad generalization, there is a more substantial disconnect between the benefit payment function and the other reemployment functions traditionally undertaken by a country's PES.

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Unemployment Compensation throughout the World: A Comparative Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Unemployment Compensation Throughout the World - A Comparative Analysis *
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Tables viii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • Notes 6
  • Part 1 - A Global Perspective *
  • 2 - Economic Performance and Unemployment 9
  • Notes 42
  • 3 - Unemployment Protection 45
  • Notes 75
  • Part 2 - Regional Aspects of Unemployment Protection *
  • 4 - Unemployment Compensation in the Oecd-20 Countries 81
  • Notes 106
  • 5 - Unemployment Compensation in the Cee-Fsu Countries 109
  • Notes 125
  • 6 - Unemployment Compensation in East and South Asia 127
  • Notes 143
  • 7 - Unemployment Compensation in Latin American and Caribbean Countries 145
  • Notes 165
  • Part 3 - Problem Areas for Unemployment Compensation Programs *
  • 8 - Three Problem Areas for Unemployment Compensation Programs 169
  • Notes 210
  • 9 - Conclusion 213
  • Appendix A - Labor Market Data for 150 Countries 219
  • Appendix B - Output Changes and Employment Changes 227
  • Notes 232
  • Appendix C - Regression Estimates of Uc Benefit Generosity 233
  • Appendix D - Uc Provisions and Uc Costs in Cee-Fsu Countries 235
  • Appendix E - Determinants of Long-Term Unemployment Percentages 245
  • Notes 252
  • References 253
  • The Authors 259
  • Index 261
  • About the Institute 273
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