Worlds Apart: Social Policy Regimes in Latin America

  • Jennifer PribbleEmail author


The region of Latin America exhibits significant diversity with regard to the size and scope of social protection programs. In this article, I propose a new way of measuring a country’s “social policy regime,” moving past expenditure-based conceptions of welfare provision to incorporate the coverage of programs. Employing this new measure, I use cluster analysis to demonstrate that Latin American social policy regimes cluster into four distinct categories. I then employ the comparative historical method to test a theory of why countries fall into each of these four categories. The analysis provides evidence that a country’s record of industrialization, the nature of political incorporation, and levels of ethnic and racial diversity are key determinants of the size and scope of Latin America’s social policy regimes.


Latin America Social Policy Political Economy Democracy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of RichmondRichmondUSA

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