Changes in living conditions of elderly Brazilians: the unexpected results of the widespread coverage of rural pension

Kaizo Beltrao, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE)
Ana Amelia Camarano, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA)
Juliana Leitão Mello

This paper assesses the unexpected effects of the widespread coverage of rural pensions that took place in Brazil in the early 1990s on family income, familial arrangements, poverty reduction, gender differences and income distribution. The analysis covers the time-period 1980 /2000. Brazilian rural pensions benefited 2.3 million elderly living in rural areas and 38.3% of the rural families in 2002. The main impacts observed are changes in the composition of familial arrangements in two different directions: the proportions of families of a single generation and of three generations are increasing, the latter at a faster pace. Families with elderly beneficiaries have a higher average familial per capita income and are less frequently poor. The presence of Social Security benefits in these families is a determinant factor in poverty reduction. Other impacts are in income distribution, in the productive structure of rural familial economy and in elderly empowerment, especially of women.

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Presented in Session 119: Aging in the developing world