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Senior Social Policy Specialists Stephen Kidd and Karishma Huda write about the misconceptions of Brazil’s conditional cash transfer, Bolsa Familia, in the ninth edition of our Pathways Perspectives publications.

Our paper assesses the evidence on Brazil’s social security system, examining the beneficiary numbers, budgets, levels of benefits and, importantly, impacts and coverage of the main social security schemes in Brazil. It reveals that the real hero driving down poverty and inequality in Brazil is the old age pension paid at the level of the minimum wage.

The paper also examines proposals to transform Bolsa Familia – currently an old-fashioned poor relief programme – into a real hero of social security, in other words a truly progressive entitlement-based scheme.



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