This book introduces a problem-solving model to cross-national studies of social programs for the elderly in economically developing nations -- the Third World, a term that is used here only as a designation of unspecified relatively lower levels of industrial and economic development. Current models of cross-national analysis tend to focus on theory testing and description; they fail to provide the practical information that indigenous policymakers need to decide whether another nation's policy, program, or provision is appropriate to their own country.
Academic cross-national studies of social welfare programs typically use two general frameworks of analysis, both best suited to studies of economically developed societies. In one approach, descriptive research compares the development of social programs across nations, examining expenditures and technical provisions. In the few cases where Third World nations are included in such studies, the level of development is usually a measure of the extent to which industrial models have been adopted.
Thus, comparisons are usually based on the degree of social insurance coverage for lost-income contingencies associated with industrialization and a wage economy -- that is, work injury, unemployment, sickness, disability, retirement, and death. These