The Journal of Politics

ARTICLES

Politics and Social Spending in Latin America

Evelyne Hubera1, Thomas Mustilloa2 and John D. Stephensa3

a1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

a2 Indiana University at Indianapolis

a3 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract

We examine the determinants of social expenditure in an unbalanced pooled time-series analysis for 18 Latin American countries for the period 1970 to 2000. This is the first such analysis of spending in Latin American countries with a full complement of regime, partisanship, state structure, economic, and demographic variables, making our analysis comparable to analyses of welfare states in advanced industrial countries. Democracy matters in the long run both for social security and welfare and for health and education spending, and—in stark contrast to OECD countries—partisanship does not matter. Highly repressive authoritarian regimes retrench spending on health and education, but not on social security.

(Received August 18 2006)

(Accepted September 07 2007)

Footnotes

Evelyne Huber is Morehead alumni professor of political science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. Thomas Mustillo is assistant professor of political science, Indiana University at Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46202. John D. Stephens is Gerhard E. Lenski, Jr. distinguished professor of political science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.

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