Retirement and labour markets under the context of pension reform in Latin America

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October 2017
Paper author(s): 
David Tuesta

Latin America has been experiencing a process of pension reform for more than three decades. Although these reforms have had some success in helping the systems achieve fiscal sustainability, they have not provided the citizens of Latin American countries with broad social protection, thus leaving a certain proportion of people without access to pensions during their old age and, in many cases, forcing them to extend their participation in the labour force. Hence, there is a need to identify the socioeconomic factors that promote the likelihood of obtaining a pension or, conversely, of continuing to work into old age. Based on micro-data from the National Household Surveys of five representative Latin American countries, this paper uses a Probit model to investigate this likelihood. Depending on country-specific aspects, this research finds that factors such as wealth accumulated during working years, high levels of education, additional income flows, family support, and age and gender tend to define the fate of the elderly regardless of whether they are included under the social protection umbrella.


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