The Mexican welfare state system

With special reference to conditional cash transfer systems

Authored by: Gabriel Martínez

The Routledge International Handbook to Welfare State Systems

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472449306
eBook ISBN: 9781315613758
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041085


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Social policy in Mexico over the last two decades has focused on supporting populations in extreme poverty, stabilizing social security and widening access to health services. These issues have grown in importance in the public agenda over the last 25 years, and the Peña Nieto administration (2012–2018) has defined universal social security as a touchstone of its policy. Today, the Mexican welfare state is in a formative stage. Large swaths of the population have limited access to comprehensive health care, a minority of the elder population is eligible to receive a social security pension, and family support and employment programs reach only a small portion of the labor force and families. The current drive, however, is not the first attempt to “universalize” social benefits. Our aim in this chapter is to understand how the current conditions have been reached and to identify spaces for innovation that could support Mexico’s successful evolution towards an environment of respect for human rights and sustained welfare improvements.

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