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Social Security in Developing Countries$
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Ehtisham Ahmad, Jean Drèze, John Hills, and Amartya Sen

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198233008

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198233008.001.0001

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Traditional Systems of Social Security and Hunger Insurance: Past Achievements and Modern Challenges *

Traditional Systems of Social Security and Hunger Insurance: Past Achievements and Modern Challenges *

Chapter:
(p.112) 4 Traditional Systems of Social Security and Hunger Insurance: Past Achievements and Modern Challenges*
Source:
Social Security in Developing Countries
Author(s):

Jean-Philippe Platteau

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198233008.003.0004

This chapter attempts to assess broadly the performance of traditional systems of social security as they exist or have existed in Third World village societies. It pursues the three following objectives: (1) to identify the main characteristics of the institutions providing social security in the societies under concern; (2) to bring into light the basic principles that their functioning obeys; and (3) to identify the most important problems and limitations to which they are subject. It achieves these objectives adopting the Scott–Popkin controversy as a convenient point of departure for the whole discussion. The chapter further provides a more detailed picture of apparently successful risk-pooling mechanisms as they have been found to prevail in several village societies. It evaluates the adequacy of traditional systems of social security in the light of modern challenges and present circumstances.

Keywords:   social security, Third World, Scott–Popkin controversy, risk-pooling mechanisms

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