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Supply and Demand Pressures on Formal Care Policies in Latin America

Mauricio Matus López and Paula Rodríguez-Modroño

Latin America is aging at a faster pace, with worse conditions and fewer financial resources than rich countries did. Social protection systems in the LA region seem also not to be ready to address this impact. In this context, this paper tries to answer two key issues: Do LA governments have any time to react? Do they have financial resources to react?

To answer these two questions, we compare the current situation in LA with the time when rich countries created their care systems. In order to do that, the first step is to identify the initial or critical points of long-term care systems in 15 developed countries. Several variables for the demographic transition and financial resources were selected for each year and country. These values were compared with the current situation in 18 Latin American countries.

The results show that 5 LA countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica or Uruguay, are already suffering intense pressures for higher provisions of formal care. Therefore, the absence or inadequacy of public policies could pose negative economic and social effects. Other LA countries have more years to react, but their economic resources are scarce.

Key words: Social Policy; Social Reform; Social Security; Protection of Rights; Aged; Care of the Aged; Latin America

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