CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Carmelo Mesa Lago: The Return of the State to Privatized Pension Systems

This is a podcast of a lecture by Carmelo Mesa Lago, current professor on economics and Latin American Studies at University of Pittsburgh and 2009 Tulane Greenleaf Distinguished Professor in Latin American Studies, on the return of the state to privatized pension systems. The lecture took place on March 19, 2013 at Tulane University’s Greenleaf Conference Room.

In 1980-2007, 23 countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe, totally or partially privatized their former public pension systems; such structural reforms, however, endured serious flaws. Since 2008, four countries (Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Hungary) implemented “re-reforms” that either shut down the private systems returning them to the public sphere or substantially increased the role of the state in them. The lecture will evaluate how the re-reforms have coped with such flaws based on several key social security features: coverage of the labor force, benefit sufficiency, social solidarity, gender equity, efficiency and administrative costs, workers’ participation in management, and financial sustainability. Mesa-Lago is the author of Re-Reforms of Privatized Pensions in the World: A Comparative Study of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Hungary (Munich: Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Arbeits-und Sozialrecht, 2013).

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