Crucial Needs, Weak Incentives: Social Sector Reform, Democratization, and Globalization in Latin America

Overview

Crucial Needs, Weak Incentives studies the politics of efforts to reform education and health services in Latin America in the 1990s. Both sectors were common targets of reform—education because of its economic importance, health care because of needs to reduce great inequities of access and opportunities to increase domestic savings presented by reforms. Both sectors also have large numbers of unionized public employees, whose presence affects patronage as well as political ...

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Overview

Crucial Needs, Weak Incentives studies the politics of efforts to reform education and health services in Latin America in the 1990s. Both sectors were common targets of reform—education because of its economic importance, health care because of needs to reduce great inequities of access and opportunities to increase domestic savings presented by reforms. Both sectors also have large numbers of unionized public employees, whose presence affects patronage as well as political power.

The book presents case studies that offer a wealth of new information not previously accessible to the English-speaking academic and policy community. For health care, these cover Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Peru; for eductaion, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Four chapters by the editors set out for each sector the goals, structure, and outcomes of reform efforts.

Contributors are Marta Arretche, Josefina Bruni Celli, Mary A. Clark, Javier Corrales, Sonia M. Draibe, Christina Ewig, Alec Ian Gershberg, Alejandra Gonzalez Rossetti, Merilee S. Grindle, Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, Pamela S. Lowden, and Patricia Ramirez.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Essential reading for all people interested in education and health policy in Latin America and beyond. Highly recommended.

Latin Americanist - Wendy Hunter

A comprehensive and vital contribution to the study of social sector reform.

Teachers College Record - Carol Huang

A huge book with gigantic scope.

Latin American Politics and Society - Thomas J. Bossert

Presents a wealth of information and advice for policymakers, reformers, consultants, and academics; a great source.

British Bulletin of Publications on Latin America

Provides a detailed picture of 1990s decision-making in two very important areas of social policy, namely education and healthcare.

Choice

Essential reading for all people interested in education and health policy in Latin America and beyond. Highly recommended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801880827
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2004
  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Press Series
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert R. Kaufman is a professor of political science at Rutgers University. Joan M. Nelson is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a scholar in residence at the School of International Service at American University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : the political challenges of social sector reform 1
2 The politics of health sector reform : cross-national comparisons 23
3 Change teams and vested interests : social security health reform in Mexico 65
4 Ambitious plans, modest outcomes : the politics of health care reform in Argentina 93
5 A sweeping health reform : the quest for unification, coverage, and efficiency in Colombia 124
6 Toward a unified and more equitable system : health reform in Brazil 155
7 Reinforcing a public system : health sector reform in Costa Rica 189
8 Piecemeal but innovative : health sector reform in Peru 217
9 The politics of education sector reform : cross-national comparisons 249
10 Interests, institutions, and reformers : the politics of education decentralization in Mexico 283
11 Multiple preferences, variable strengths : the politics of education reform in Argentina 315
12 Education reform in Colombia : the elusive quest for effectiveness 350
13 Federal leverage in a decentralized system : education reform in Brazil 375
14 Empowering parents while making them pay : autonomous schools and education reform processes in Nicaragua 407
15 Innovation and frustration : education reform in Venezuela 438
16 Conclusions : the political dynamics of reform 473
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