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[Excerpt] Developing country governments around the world, as well as the development agencies advising them, have become increasingly alarmed about the cost of social security systems and social safety net programs and economic inefficiencies resulting from these programs' operation. Taken together, both social security and safety net programs may be jointly referred to as "economic security programs". In this paper we identify the main sources of economic insecurity facing developing country populations, highlight the ways in which existing social safety net and social security programs meet (or fail to meet) these risks, and draw out some high-priority reforms required to help such programs meet the challenges of the 1990s and beyond. Finally, we enumerate several steps that international agencies could take which would dramatically enhance the environment in which these reforms are carried out.


Suggested Citation

Fields, G. S., & Mitchell, O. S. (1993). Reforming social security and social safety net programs in developing countries [Electronic version]. In P. Mountfield (Ed.), Development Issues. Presentations to the 47th Meeting of the Development Committee (pp. 113-119). Washington, DC: The World Bank.

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© World Bank Group. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.