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Essays on Immigration and Social Policy in Costa Rica

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Koen Voorend

on 21 May 2013

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Transcript of Essays on Immigration and Social Policy in Costa Rica

PhD PROJECT Costa Rica in THE PROBLEM THE CONTEXT Nicaraguan immigrants' claim to Costa Rican social services (healthcare, education, housing etc) is becoming more and more contested by the national population Costa Rica's SPR: From 'exceptional' to uncertain 1 2 Nicaraguan immigration in Costa Rica 3 Economic and social security crisis ...and the immigrant as a threat ESSAY 1 ESSAY 2 ESSAY 3 ESSAY 4 Large share of the population considers Nicaraguan immigrants as a problem for the sustainability of Costa Rica's Social Policy Regime (SPR)... "Nicaraguans come here to take our jobs and benefit from our generous welfare system...free education for their children...free healthcare..." ESSAYS Social Policy and Migration in Evolution: Ethnicization of politics? The ‘implementation deficit’ and welfare worlds: Nicaraguan immigrants’ actual access to social policy Costa Rica: ¿A ‘Welfare Magnet’ in the South? From the Migration-Development to the Migration-Social Policy Nexus: Does Social Policy Enable Remittances? METHODOLOGY IS COSTA RICA A WELFARE MAGNET FOR NICARAGUAN MIGRANTS? Costa Rica often characterized as "exceptional" simultaneous economic and social incorporation High levels of social spending In the developing world, only few countries were able to construct a solid social policy regime, based on solidarity, with almost universal coverage universal and free primary education,
high rates of social security coverage, including for vulnerable and non-contributing groups,
hailed as a healthcare “success story” Life expectancy of 79.4 years (2010)
Infant mortality of 8.8 per 1000 births (2010) 1940s: creation 1948: Costa Rica abolished army Result of a very particular historical development of Costa Rica's SPR 1950-70s: expansion 1980s-...: Tension started investing in Healthcare and Education
Several social institutions created, like for example the country's social security institution: Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS)...in 1941 1960s-70s: Considerable expansion of SPR proliferation of state institutions
State big role as service provider
...but also as employer
Late 70s: one in five Costa Ricans was employed in the public sector, state bureaucracy and national companies End 70s: Universal coverage of primary education and virtually universal health insurance and medical services available to all, either through contributory or non-contributory means Debt crisis (80s)
Economic reforms (90s and 00s)
Pressure for less state intervention 1980s-...: Tension and resilience Resilience: Welfare structures have remained very similar to those of before the 1980s Tensions: “growing tensions due to the need to do more with less per capita resources” so now: Lower quality services
public schools hot seat system, private schools better
healthcare: long waiting lists, patient discontent, private sector flourishing for middle and middle-high income groups
e.g. Between 2000 and 2009, the share of private healthcare spending increased from 23% to 33 %
Financial constraints, especially in healthcare and pensions system
More focus on targeted programs, like Avancemos CCT MIGRATION: salient feature of the structural economic and social transformations 1980s-90s: huge waves of labour immigration from Nicaragua
2011: Migrant "stock": 9% of population, of which 80% Nicaraguans (INEC, 2011)
Mostly low-skilled: construction, agriculture, commerce and domestic service 2008: International financial crisis hits Costa Rica: higher unemployment 2011: as a result...CCSS (emblematic for SPR) in financial crisis GDP fell by 1.3%
CCSS assigned 11% of GDP
Less income
(...and with it, the underlying principles of Costa Rica's SPR) at the same time.... RESULT voices of "welfare chauvinism" (benefits for Costa Ricans only)
first signs of limits: "ethnicization" of politics BUT: There is little we know of the interactions between migration and social policy in Costa Rica. This PhD proposal aims to study these interactions around the question: Is Costa Rica a welfare magnet for Nicaraguan migrants? 1.Faced with multiple crises, does Costa Rica turn to limit newcomers social rights, i.e. are there processes of ethnicization of social policy? a.How has Costa Rica’s social and migration policy evolved since 1980?
b.How has Nicaraguan immigration in Costa Rica evolved since 1980? c.What are immigrants’ social rights in Costa Rica at present? & Time period: 1980-2012
Focus: Social policy (healthcare, education, pensions and housing). Migration policy
Study policy evolution: based on secondary sources: studies, policy documents etc.
Study recent policy reactions: based on recent Migration Law reform and CCSS crisis reports & internal communications 1. Implementation deficit? What is their actual access to social policy?
2. Are there different Nicaraguan immigrant “welfare worlds” in Costa Rica?
3.If so, what are their characteristics, and which factors explain these differences?
4.Do Nicaraguan immigrants in Costa Rica enjoy better access to social policy than in Nicaragua? Combination of data analysis from national surveys and public institutions (1), interviews and focus groups (1 & 2 & 3), primary data from own survey (2 & 3 & 4) using cluster analysis (2 & 3) and regression anlysis (3 & 4) National survey data, data from public institutions, interviews and focus groups Interviews and focus groups, and primary data using cluster analysis Primary data using regression analysis PRIMARY DATA OWN SURVEY:
Conducted in Costa Rica and Nicaragua
Costa Rica: Nicaraguan immigrants
Nicaragua: people thinking of migrating
About 600 observations total
Funding: Staffgroups Arjun and Max; Own funding, possibly CDR 1.Are Nicaraguan immigrants overrepresented in Costa Rican social welfare programmes?
2.Does (expected) access to social policies feature as an important factor explaining migration flows from Nicaragua to Costa Rica? Benefit-incidence analysis: compare share of immigrants participating in specific social programs, to the share immigrants in total population DATA data from the different public institutions
public, but not easily accessible
limitations Focus groups and regression analysis based on own-survey data from data gathered in Nicaragua: do people take welfare benefits into account in their decision to migrate? 1.Does access to social policy in Costa Rica, as part of an enabling environment, facilitate remittance sending by Nicaraguan immigrants to Nicaragua? The argument goes: an enabling environment (access to jobs, housing, welfare, networks etc.) facilitates remittance sending. But nobody has ever shown that having access to social policy/welfare benefits increases the capacity to remit (Hujo and Piper, 2010). Build exclusively on the primary data gathered during the self-designed survey, specifically the part conducted among Nicaraguan immigrants in Costa Rica. Regression analysis.... Looking forward to your observations WELFARE MAGNET IN THE SOUTH? That's it in a nutshell... Thank you! ¡Gracias! Persistent conceptions of increasing Nicaraguan immigration (despite official data showing the opposite: growth rate from 7.5% (1984-2000)to 2.4% (2000-2011)
Media "demonize" immigrants
3/4 of Costa Ricans: "Nicaraguans risk to social security"
Discrimination and xenophobia
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