The privatization of social security and women's welfare: Gender effects of the chilean reform

Alberto Arenas De Mesa, Verónica Montecinos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The study shows that the new privately managed pension system in Chile has increased gender inequalities. Women are worse off than they were under the old pay-as-you-go system of social security, in which the calculation of benefits for men and women did not differ and women could obtain pensions with fewer requirements than men. Currently, benefits are calculated according to individuals' contributions and levels of risk. Such factors as women's longer life expectancy, earlier retirement age, lower rates of labor-force participation, lower salaries, and other disadvantages in the labor market are directly affecting their accumulation of funds in individual retirement accounts, leading to lower pensions, especially for poorer women. Lessons from the Chilean reform should encourage scholars, policy makers, and the general public to engage in debates that more adequately incorporate gender variables in designing and implementing policy changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-37
Number of pages31
JournalLatin American Research Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Development
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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