The Marketization of Social Security

by John Dixon, Mark Hyde

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Cover image for The Marketization of Social Security

March 2001


Pages 240
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/U.S. Public Policy and Administration
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Much could be gained from the privatization of social security--but can the gains actually be delivered? Dixon, Hyde, and their contributing authors take a balanced look at where we are now, and where we seem to be moving, on the issues of social security privatization and come up skeptical. There will be tradeoffs, but will the benefits outweigh the costs? Their volume examines a variety of settings in Latin America, Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa, where the marketization of social security appears most hotly contested. As a contribution to this new, energetic gobal policy discourse, the book will be of special interest to policymakers in the public and private sectors, and particularly in organizations where concerns about the growing cost of employee benefits have become critical.

Dixon, Hyde, and the others start by showing how the concept of social security has changed dramatically over the last 20 years--not just in the United States but throughout the world. The collectivist ideology that has long underpinned social security policy has been challenged by the emergence of an ideology of individualism. But can one presume that the desires of government to privatize are driven purely by the need to achieve neoliberal policy goals by that means? Too simplistic, say the contributors. Marketization offers the promise of reduced dependency on the state, reduced public expenditure and thus lower taxes, enhanced competitiveness internationally, more efficient delivery of social security services, and other advantages--but whether these promises would be kept seems to depend on a variety of factors. Among them, explored in this volume, are the level of development and sophistication of the capital markets, the degree of market competition that can be achieved and sustained, and the capacity of the state to develop and implement governance mechanisms to ensure that private providers act in the public interest. The volume also examines two daunting challenges to governments: how to design a set of regulations that can protect the public interest in perpetuity, and how to resist the calls for government subsidies to support the economic rent expectations of privatized providers. The contributors and editors develop these and other points concisely and readably, and in doing so offer important lessons from the experiences of others worldwide.

Table of Contents

PrefaceWelfare Ideology, the Market and Social Security: Toward a Typology of Market-Oriented Reform by Mark Hyde and John DixonThe Market Appropriation of Statutory Social Security: Global Experiences and Governance Issues by John Dixon and Alexander KouzminChile's Pioneering Privatization by Silvia BorzutzkyThe Market Orientation of Social Security: The Brazilian Case by Sônia Mirian Draibe and Milko MatijascicMarketization of Sickness and Disability Insurance in the Netherlands: A Review of the Polder Route by Ruud Muffels and Henk-Jan DirvenThe Forms of Privatization of Social Security in Britain by Carol WalkerA Hydra-Like Creature? The Marketization of Social Security in New Zealand by Michael O'Brien"Almost 12 People an Hour Leaving Welfare": The Marketization of Welfare in Ontario and the Decline of the Public Good by Hugh ShewellWhy Privatization Is Not on the United States' Social Security Policy Agenda by Max J. SkidmoreAn Assessment of the Marketization of Social Security in Zimbabwe by Edwin KasekeIndex



[G]ives a pragmatic and fair assessment of market reform of public social security provisions in eight countries: Chile, Brazil, Netherlands, Britian, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Canada, and the United States....[T]his book gives us some in-depth case analyses of privat/public mix in social security within an international perspective....[T]his book is a most welcome addition to the literature that helps us to understand the nature and dynamic of privatized social security programs across nations.—Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

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