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Crucial Needs, Weak Incentives

, 560 pages
October 2004



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Crucial Needs, Weak Incentives

Social Sector Reform, Democratization, and Globalization in Latin America

Selected by Choice Magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title

Crucial Needs, Weak Incentives studies the politics of efforts to reform education and health services in Latin America in the 1990s. Both sectors were common targets of reform—education because of its economic importance, health care because of needs to reduce great inequities of access and opportunities to increase domestic savings presented by reforms. Both sectors also have large numbers of unionized public employees, whose presence affects patronage as well as political power.

The book presents case studies that offer a wealth of new information not previously accessible to the English-speaking academic and policy community. For health care, these cover Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Peru; for eductaion, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Four chapters by the editors set out for each sector the goals, structure, and outcomes of reform efforts.

Contributors are Marta Arretche, Josefina Bruni Celli, Mary A. Clark, Javier Corrales, Sonia M. Draibe, Christina Ewig, Alec Ian Gershberg, Alejandra Gonzalez Rossetti, Merilee S. Grindle, Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, Pamela S. Lowden, and Patricia Ramirez.

Robert R. Kaufman is a professor of political science at Rutgers University. Joan M. Nelson is a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a scholar in residence at the School of International Service at American University.

"A comprehensive and vital contribution to the study of social sector reform."

"Essential reading for all people interested in education and health policy in Latin America and beyond. Highly recommended."

"A huge book with gigantic scope."

"Presents a wealth of information and advice for policymakers, reformers, consultants, and academics; a great source."

"Provides a detailed picture of 1990s decision-making in two very important areas of social policy, namely education and healthcare."

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