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Informality – addressing the Achilles heel of social protection in Latin America

Annual Lecture 23
The 2019 WIDER Annual Lecture by Santiago Levy is to be held on Wednesday 30 October 2019 at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. The event is organized in collaboration with the Graduate Institute’s Centre for Finance and Development.

Social protection programmes have been in place in Latin America for over 75 years, but as a result of extensive informality, less than half the working population are covered by the contributory social insurance system.  How can social insurance systems be redesigned to provide coverage to all?

The 2019 WIDER Annual Lecture discusses the challenges of social protection in economies with large informal sectors, such as in Latin America. Making a critical distinction between social insurance and social assistance programmes — the former address risks which are common to all workers (illness, disability, death, longevity); the latter focus on redistribution, which in turn focuses on a subset of the population, typically those living in poverty.

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Informality – addressing the Achilles heel of social protection in Latin America

Birography 

The lecture will be delivered by Santiago Levy, main architect of Progresa/Oportunidades — Mexico's incentive-based health, nutrition and education program for the poor. Santiago Levy is currently a Non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution and, until recently, was the Vice-President for Sectors and Knowledge at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). His previous positions in the Mexican government include General Director at the Mexican Social Security Institute, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Finance, and president of the Federal Competition Commission. Before that he was Associate Professor of Economics at Boston University. Dr Levy is the author of at least 75 articles, monographs and book chapters

See also the Graduate Institute's Centre for Finance and Development event page

Programme 

17:00-18:00 Registration, reception and refreshments
18:00 – 20:00 WIDER Annual Lecture 23: Informality – addressing the Achilles Heel of social protection in Latin America

Welcome by Ugo Panizza, Professor of International Economics and Pictet Chair in Finance and Development at the Graduate Institute in Geneva

Introduction by Kunal Sen, Director UNU-WIDER

Annual Lecture by Santiago Levy, former Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge at the Inter-American Development Bank

Remarks and observations from Uma Rani, Senior Economist at the Research Department at the International Labour Organization

Q&A

Closing by Jean-Louis Arcand, Professor of International Economics and Head of the Graduate Institute’s International Economics Department

 

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Video
Webcast - WIDER Annual Lecture 23

Informality – addressing the Achilles heel of social protection in Latin America The lecture will be live streamed on Wednesday 30 October at approximately 18:00 (GMT+1). The stream can also be accessed from our YouTube channel as well as...

Policy Brief
Annual Lecture Brief - Informality: The Achilles Heel of Social Protection in Latin America: Making a case for universal social protection in Latin America

The 2019 WIDER Annual Lecture discusses the challenges of social protection in economies with large informal sectors, such as in Latin America...

About
WIDER Annual Lecture

The WIDER Annual Lecture is one of UNU-WIDER’s flagship events. The first lecture was given by Douglas C. North in 1997. Since then the lecture has been delivered by a prestigious line of scholars and political actors, 4 of whom are Nobel...

Annual lecture