Social Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean 2011. Chapter IV: social protection and inequality: cracks, rigidities, open ground and opportunities

This chapter offers analytical routes towards tapping the favourable conditions described above and towards building a systemic perspective, looking at both factors which hinder the action of social protection systems and the ground which lies open for action to tackle the many aspects of inequality. The chapter first examines the scope and stratification of contributory social protection, on the basis of social security registration and its impact on households, then analyses the protection afforded to older persons in retirement. There follows a brief description of the extent of non-contributory social protection and its adaptation to the risk profile of the population. Next, the combined coverage of the two pillars is examined to develop a more systemic approach, looking especially at sectors which are currently covered by neither. The last section portrays the systemic performance of social protection in terms of the various dimensions of inequality and offers policy alternatives aimed at correcting their main cracks and omissions.