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Programas Focalizados de Transferência de Renda no Brasil: Contribuições para o Debate

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Abstract

We describe several characteristics of the two most important targeted cash transfer programs in Brazil, the Continuous Cash Benefit - BPC and the Bolsa Familia, and discuss their institutional aspects, long term sustainability, beneficiaries and levels of targeting. We also address the need of conditionalities, the effects of the transfers on labor market participation, contributions for the pensions system and gender inequality, as well as the relevance of the so called `exit doors`. Our conclusion is that, on the one hand, the programs are accomplishing the goals they were designed to, have a relevant impact on poverty and inequality and achieve a good performance in international terms, under costs which are compatible with the Brazilian budgetary capacity; on the other hand, they apparently have no negative effects on incentives to work and to contribute to the pensions system. Therefore, we argue that these programs should be kept in place and, if possible, expanded in the near future.

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