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DT 33/21 - ¿Qué sabemos sobre los programas de transferencias no contributivas en Uruguay? Una síntesis de resultados de investigación disponibles sobre el PANES, AFAM-PE y TUS

ISSNISSN/ISBN: 1688-5090
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This document is part of a larger project "Beliefs, perceptions and attitudes about public income transfers in Uruguay", developed by the research group Ethics, Justice and Economics, with the support of Fondo Artículo 2, Comisión de Investigación Científica (Universidad de la Republic). In this component, we summarize the results of the available studies addressing the design, implementation and main impacts of Plan Nacional de Atención a la Emergencia Social (PANES), Asignaciones Familiares-Plan de Equidad (AFAM-PE) y la Tarjeta Uruguay Social (TUS). The studies provide important elements for the ongoing discussion on the characteristics of these interventions. On the one hand, they raise a set of issues regarding the design of the current system an its potential expansion such as their articulation with the social security and income tax systems and schedules; labor market conditions; and other public policies,  as the National Care System. On the other hand, they problematize the current conditionalities in several ways (exclusion errors, lack of clarity, regressive policy, etc.). At the same time, they highlight that the complexity of the beneficiary selection systems might inhibit the possibility of claiming. The role of these benefits in expanding the coverage of the social protection system is highlighted, as it is their moderate effect on reducing poverty and income inequality. Regarding impacts, effects have been found in the areas of health and access to the educational system, whereas none of the programs significantly altered household spending patterns. Nor were the perceptions of the beneficiaries substantially modified, although recently there are signs of stigmatization. Already from PANES it is highlighted that the effects of greater trust in the government and MIDES do not translate into greater social cohesion. While in general terms the fertility patterns and labor participation did not change substantially, the main unwanted effects refer to the increase in the probability of being engaged in informal employment, which can be linked to design aspects. In the case of TUS differ in terms of its impacts on labour force attachment and dwelling conditions, which suggests that further research is required. Finally, there is a sharp contrast between research results and the systematized perceptions from the remaining components of the project (focus groups, media analysis or opinion polls), which raises important challenges for the design of policies for scientific dissemination and relationship with broader audiences.
 
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