Panel: Examining Social Welfare Policies in Latin America
(Sustainable Social Services Across the Life Course)

Thursday, July 19, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Building 5, Sala Maestros Lower (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chair:  Arturo Alberto Aguilar-Esteva, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Social Policy Under Women Presidents in the Americas
Victoria Rodríguez and Ashlyn Webb, University of Texas, Austin

Improving Conditional Cash Transfers Effect: The Role of Neighborhoods Conditions in Mexico
Johabed G. Olvera, Indiana University and Maureen Pirog, University of Washington

The Impact of Decentralization in Public Service Provision: When Does Local Discretion Matter?
Ricardo Andrés Bello-Gómez and Claudia N. Avellaneda, Indiana University

Financing in Health in Mexico: Learning about the Way Traveled
Gabriela Luna Ruiz, Universidad Iberoamericana

Data availability has substantially improved in Latin American countries. Currently, researchers and practitioners have access to data on social services provision, public finances and government and bureaucratic features. This situation has favored advances in research on policy outcomes in a world region that is in much need of evidence-based policy-making. This panel presents four papers that evaluate the effects of different types of policies in outcomes that are crucial for social welfare, such as health and education. Each of them offers a different perspective on the issue of social welfare and assesses different dimensions of this problem. Moreover, they address cases located in different Latin American countries such as Mexico and Colombia. 

One of the papers studies the impact of a physician home-visits program on outcomes related to pre-natal care in Mexico City. A second paper evaluates how neighborhood improvements affect education outcomes in Mexico. The third paper assesses the impact of municipal decentralization on education enrollment and pre-natal care related outcomes in Colombia. The fourth paper studies the changes in family expenditure on health due to the implementation of universal health insurance in Mexico. Together, these studies point out in the direction of accumulating evidence for the proper design and implementation of effective social policy in Latin America.