Impact of Bolivia€'s universal pension on income, consumption and poverty

Available from: 
October 2013
Paper author(s): 
Sebastian Martinez (IADB)
Federico Escobar (IADB)
Mendizabal Joel (IADB)
Fiscal Policy - Public and Welfare Economics

Until recently, the elderly in Bolivia had no access to safety nets outside those employed in the formal sector and were over-represented amongst the poor. Starting in 2007, the Bolivian government changed the eligibility criteria for the country’s universal old age pension program, the Renta Dignidad, lowering the age of eligibility from 65 to 60 years. We use this policy change to evaluate the impact of the universal pension on income, consumption and poverty using a regression discontinuity design and data from a nationally representative sample of households with individuals 55 and older. We find that beneficiary households increase income by 16.4%, consumption by 15.4% and experience a reduction in both monetary and subjective measures of poverty.


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Research section: 
Lacea 2013 annual meeting
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