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Inequality in the News: Brazil and Bolsa Familia

As state and federal policy makers struggle with how to address rising inequality here in this country, leaders around the world are grappling with the same issue.

FiveThirtyEight recently published an article examining the impact of a large-scale poverty-relief program called Bolsa Familia on the state of economic inequality in Brazil.

The program, which started in 2003, gives a monthly stipend to low-income families (those earning less than $828 per year) as long as certain conditions are met: Children under 17 have to attend school, pregnant women have to receive prenatal and antenatal care at clinics, and children under 6 must be immunized and receive yearly growth checkups. The goal is to relieve extreme poverty in the short run, and incentivize the behaviors that reduce poverty over the long haul.

The FiveThirtyEight article examines how this program and other factors have helped reduce Brazil’s levels of economic inequality, among the highest in the world. Its careful examination of what Bolsa Familia is, how the program has been successful in reducing inequality, and how it can improve makes the article worth a read.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/lessons-from-brazils-war-on-poverty/

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This entry was posted on July 8, 2014 by in Economy.
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