Chile

   

Social Policies

#34
Key Findings
With wealth determining access to some critical social resources, Chile receives comparatively low rankings (rank 34) in the area of social policies. Its score in this area has improved by 0.3 points relative to 2014.

Persistent gaps between relatively poor-quality public schools and expensive private schools have sparked protests since 2010. Reforms have increased public funding, particularly for vulnerable students. However, further steps promoting equity and improving quality standards are needed.

The income distribution is highly unequal, with the lower-middle class in particular often living precariously on credit. Exclusion often follows ethnic lines, and social mobility is limited. Concerns over the pension system have led to massive protests in recent years. An influx of Venezuelans has changed the character of the migrant population.

Health care is split between private and public systems. The public system provides broad coverage, with varying – though improving – quality. Gendered health-contribution policies mean maternity-care costs are borne solely by women. Provision of preschool education is improving, but often fails to correspond to parents’ working hours.

Education

#33

To what extent does education policy deliver high-quality, equitable and efficient education and training?

10
 9

Education policy fully achieves the criteria.
 8
 7
 6


Education policy largely achieves the criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Education policy partially achieves the criteria.
 2
 1

Education policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Education Policy
5
Chile’s school and education attainment levels are very mixed, and are generally much lower than the OECD average. Pre-primary education coverage is still low, but rising. Primary and secondary education coverage is high, reaching nearly 100% of current age cohorts. Tertiary-education coverage is moderate but increasing, although the quality of universities and private-sector technical institutions varies significantly. Former governments were not able to reduce the qualitative and social gap between the private and public systems; this failure has led to strong public protests that have endured since 2010, though these peaked in 2011 and 2012.

The general ideological disagreement between the government and opposition regarding the role of education and the free market has made it more difficult to pass reforms. However, conflicts between teachers’ boards and the corporations or enterprises offering private education services have also played a role. The current government’s campaign platform included reforms that sought to abolish profit-seeking in the education sector. A series of legislative proposals on the issue have been submitted to Congress, but not all have been passed. The latest changes were introduced in March 2016 by the enactment of Law Nr. 20.845 (Ley de Inclusión Escolar), which increases subsidies for the most vulnerable students in primary and secondary education. At the same time, public subsidies for providers of education are now granted only to private entities which legally count as non-profit organizations. Additionally, financial contributions (copagos) by those families whose children attend a public school should be lowered. Prior to this latest reform, Law Nr. 20.882 (Ley de Presupuestos del Sector Público), enacted in December 2015, introduced subsidies to the tuition fees for most vulnerable students who attend higher education (about 25% of the newly matriculated students in 2017).

In summary, the government’s educational reform aimed at eliminating profit, selection and copayments within the private-education sphere, and is based on four fundamental principles:
1) Ensuring that institutions provide a strong education and protect families’ financial security;
2) Creating a high-quality public-education system;
3) Providing for a modern, well-paid, highly skilled teaching profession; and
4) Creating a free (no-fee) higher-education system of high quality.

In line with these goals, the budget proposal submitted by President Michelle Bachelet to Congress on 1 October 2014 included a 27.5% increase in public investment. Public education received a funding increase of 10.2%, largely dedicated to nurseries, kindergartens, public-school infrastructure and training programs for teachers. As one of the programmatic focuses of the government of President Bachelet, the past national budgets included an increase in educational spending. Thus, the 2017 budget intends to continue this trend with an increase of 6.2%.

Impacts of the latest reforms, especially regarding coverage of higher education and quality of the public education system as a whole, will be reliably measurable in the medium and long term.

Traditionally, high-quality education in Chile has been accessible only to those able to afford it. There is a huge financial divergence between private and public education, with per month spending per pupil in the public system averaging CLP 40,000 (approximately $60), and private-schooling fees averaging about CLP 300,000 (approximately $450). Chile used to have a broad public-education system, but as a result of the poor quality of the public schools, the share of students attending public institutions has declined to approximately 40%. This rate might change in the near future as a result of the recent reforms, but numbers have still to be raised. There is still a great gap in the quality of education for less gifted students, as the system is strongly focused on preparing students for careers requiring higher education. There are consequently comparatively few options for applied, vocationally oriented training courses for students who cannot afford the university, do not obtain the necessary grades to enter university, or are simply skilled in fields that require solid technical training instead of an academic degree.

Furthermore, there is wide variance in standards between universities and even technical training centers, with insufficient quality-control standards. In general terms, Chile’s education system – with the exception of a few top universities – fails in the task of educating and training people to acquire the knowledge and skills required if the country is to make a quantum leap in development and growth. This hampers labor-productivity growth and undermines efforts to diminish poverty rates. This weak performance results from failures in past and current education policies, as well as the efforts of a strong teachers’ lobby that has effectively opposed necessary reforms to school curriculums and school management structures, and has blocked attempts to link teacher pay to teaching productivity.

Therefore, the latest reforms can be interpreted as an important step toward more equitable access to (higher) education and an improvement regarding the quality standards of public education.

Citations:
Education budgeting
http://www.dipres.gob.cl/595/w3-multipropertyvalues-14437-22369.html
http://www.hacienda.cl/especiales/presupuesto/presupuesto-2016/informativo-presup uesto-2016.html
http://www.dipres.gob.cl/572/articles-149470_Prioridades_periodo_2017.pdf

Educational Reform
http://leyinclusion.mineduc.cl/
http://reformaeducacional.gob.cl/documentos/
http://www.comunidadescolar.cl/documentacion/LeyInclusionEscolar/presentacion_sostenedores.pdf
http://www.gratuidad.cl/lo-que-debes-saber/
http://michellebachelet.cl/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Reforma-Educacional-14-21.pdf
http://www.latercera.com/noticia/tasas-cobertura-educacion-parvularia/

Social Inclusion

#34

To what extent does social policy prevent exclusion and decoupling from society?

10
 9

Policies very effectively enable societal inclusion and ensure equal opportunities.
 8
 7
 6


For the most part, policies enable societal inclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 5
 4
 3


For the most part, policies fail to prevent societal exclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 2
 1

Policies exacerbate unequal opportunities and exclusion from society.
Social Inclusion Policy
5
In terms of opportunity for upward mobility, Chile still fails to overcome a long lasting and broadening social gap. For example, considerable exclusion along ethnic lines and a large gap between poor parts of the population and the middle class remain. There is also little upward mobility within higher income groups. The middle class in general and especially the lower middle class can be considered highly vulnerable given the lack of support for those suffering unemployment or health problems. Middle-class wealth tends to be based on a high level of long-term indebtedness and its share in the national income is low even by Latin American standards. The income distribution is highly unequal; although GDP (2016) is about $247 billion and GDP per capita (2016) about $13,792, about $300 less than the previous year, about 70% of the population earns a monthly income less than $800 (CLP 500,000). About 50.9% of the population earns less than $550 (CLP 350,000) per month. Furthermore, poverty rates among the elderly people are disturbingly high.

The public-education system provides a comparatively low-quality education to those who lack adequate financial resources, while the approach to social policy promoted and supported by the Chilean elite maintains this very unequal social structure. Although some social programs seeking to improve the situation of society’s poorest people have been established and extended, the economic system (characterized by oligopolistic and concentrated structures in almost all domains) does not allow the integration of considerable portions of society into the country’s middle class. Moreover, the lower-middle class in particular can be regarded more as a statistical category than a realistic characterization of people’s quality of life, given that the majority of the Chilean middle class runs a perpetual risk of falling (material) living standards, as their consumer spending is mainly financed by credit and individual debt. If a household’s primary income earner loses his or her job, or a family member has serious health troubles, families tend to face rapid impoverishment.

Reforms planned by Bachelet’s government (in the realms of taxation, education and labor) are expected to have substantial pro-inclusionary effects. Some of these have already been introduced, while others are on the way or still under discussion.

Citations:
http://www.fundacionsol.cl/estudios/los-verdaderos-sueldos-chile-panorama-actual-del-valor-del-trabajo-nesi2016/
http://www.fundacionsol.cl/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Verdaderos-Salarios-2015.pdf
http://www.elmostrador.cl/mercados/2015/10/14/desigualdad-historica-este-2 015-el-1-mas-rico-de-la-poblacion-alcanzo-el-mismo-patrimonio-que-el-99-restante -del-mundo/
http://data.iadb.org
http://datos.bancomundial.org/pais/chile

Health

#25

To what extent do health care policies provide high-quality, inclusive and cost-efficient health care?

10
 9

Health care policy achieves the criteria fully.
 8
 7
 6


Health care policy achieves the criteria largely.
 5
 4
 3


Health care policy achieves the criteria partly.
 2
 1

Health care policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Health Policy
7
For more than three decades, Chile has maintained a dual health system, with one pillar represented by private insurance and private health care services chosen by self-financing participants (typically upper middle-income and high-income groups), and another pillar of public, highly subsidized insurance and public health care services for participants who pay only part of their health costs. This system provides broad coverage to most of the population, but with large differences in the quality of health care provision (especially in the waiting times for non-emergency services). A significant reform has been implemented gradually since 2003, expanding the range of guaranteed coverage and entailing a corresponding extension of government subsidies to low- and middle-income population groups. In contrast to other policies, this reform has been pursued in a very consistent and solid way, although some failures can be detected regarding the budget provided for public health and administrative processes. Above all, primary health care within the public system has shown great advances in coverage and in quality. These standards have remained stable in recent years.

In the domain of the more complex systems of secondary and tertiary health care, a more problematic situation is evident regarding the public health care system. These levels show funding gaps and an insufficiency of well-trained professionals. There is still a huge gender gap with regard to health care contribution rates, since maternity costs are borne only by women. For these reasons, the quality and efficiency of public health care provision (government clinics and hospitals) vary widely.

A survey released in May 2017 by Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP), one of Chile´s most important polling agencies, showed that 45% of the respondents cited health care as their second highest concern (after criminality, 51%, and followed by education, 38%).

Citations:
Healthcare as one of the chief concerns:
http://www.latinnews.com/component/k2/item/70237.html?period=2016&archive=26&Ite mid=6&cat_id=804376:chile-seeking-to-address-the-chief-public-concern&Itemid=6
https://www.cepchile.cl/cep/site/artic/20170831/asocfile/20170831165004/encuestacep_jul_ago2017.pdf

Families

#31

To what extent do family support policies enable women to combine parenting with participation in the labor market?

10
 9

Family support policies effectively enable women to combine parenting with employment.
 8
 7
 6


Family support policies provide some support for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 5
 4
 3


Family support policies provide only few opportunities for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 2
 1

Family support policies force most women to opt for either parenting or employment.
Family Policy
5
In recent years, there have been efforts to establish wide-ranging preschool-education coverage. These policies offer Chilean parents more opportunities to place their children in free or low-priced nurseries and kindergartens. As enacted, Michelle Bachelet’s 2015 budget included an increase in public funding in both categories. The national social program “Chile crece contigo” (Chile grows with you), which supports expecting mothers and families during a child’s early years, also includes support for adolescent mothers.

However, this system does not yet fulfill actual labor-market requirements, given that nursery opening times often do not coincide with parents’ long working hours. The average annual working hours in Chile (1,974 hours per year and worker) far exceed the OECD average (about 1,763 hours per year and worker). Families’ abilities to find day care for their children depends to a great degree on their economic backgrounds, as wealthier families normally pay for private housekeepers and nannies. Aside from the issue of women’s labor-market-participation opportunities, Chilean family policy does not fully respect fathers’ concerns, as tuition for children is paid solely to mothers, for example. Chilean family policies still lack a holistic vision of modern families; for example, they are weak on issues such as single parents and adoption.

Citations:
http://www.dipres.gob.cl/594/articles-121592_Ley_de_Presupuestos_2015.pdf

https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=ANHRS

Pensions

#27

To what extent does pension policy realize goals of poverty prevention, intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability?

10
 9

Pension policy achieves the objectives fully.
 8
 7
 6


Pension policy achieves the objectives largely.
 5
 4
 3


Pension policy achieves the objectives partly.
 2
 1

Pension policy does not achieve the objectives at all.
Pension Policy
5
Chile’s pension system combines a redistributive means-tested pillar financed by general taxation with a self-financed pillar based on individual contributions and individual pension accounts, which are managed by private pension fund managers and invested both domestically and abroad. The redistributive pillar was extended and broadened very substantially by a 2008 pension reform that implemented means-tested pension subsidies, guaranteeing a pension floor to all older citizens that is very high relative to the country’s minimum and average wages. The reform also provided pension benefit entitlements to women based on the number of children they have had, with no ceiling on the number of children. It is a matter of some debate whether the Chilean pension system guarantees intergenerational equity or prevents poverty caused by old age. It can be argued that both public and private pension systems are fiscally sustainable (like those of Norway, the best-funded system among all OECD countries), and thus provide both intergenerational and intragenerational equity across income groups. Nevertheless, the Chilean system largely fails to guarantee poverty prevention among large parts of the socioeconomically weaker and older population who depend on the support of their families or have no pensions at all if they worked in unstable and/or informal employment. Thus, the pension system has (because of the capitalization logic) virtually zero redistributional effect.

An advisory presidential commission (Comisión Asesora Presidencial sobre el Sistema de Pensiones) was set up in April 2014 with the task of analyzing possible pension-system changes. The current system, which was established under Augusto Pinochet’s military regime, is strongly criticized as being designed to guarantee and provide sufficient funds for the economic and political elite and their financial interests, as these groups have strong links to the pension-fund management companies. The commission presented its final report in September 2015. It contained no radical reform proposals, but did suggest some slight changes such as an increase in contributions and an expansion in the coverage provided by basic solidarity pensions (pensión básica solidaria). The current scenario indicates that poverty among the elderly will rise in the medium and long term if reforms are not introduced soon.

During the period under review, dissatisfaction with the pension system has increased significantly and led to peaceful, but massive demonstrations in more than 50 cities. Without a doubt, the pension system will be a central issue in the presidential and legislative elections in 2017. As yet, the government has not presented a concrete reform proposal.

Citations:
http://ciperchile.cl/2015/11/18/conclusione s-de-la-comision-bravo-todo-esta-al-reves-con-las-pensiones/

The Commission’s Executive Summery:
http://www.comision-pensiones.cl/Documentos/GetResumen

Integration

#37

How effectively do policies support the integration of migrants into society?

10
 9

Cultural, education and social policies effectively support the integration of migrants into society.
 8
 7
 6


Cultural, education and social policies seek to integrate migrants into society, but have failed to do so effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Cultural, education and social policies do not focus on integrating migrants into society.
 2
 1

Cultural, education and social policies segregate migrant communities from the majority society.
Integration Policy
6
The number of immigrants in Chile has increased significantly during the last five years. In general, there are few restrictions for highly skilled immigrants and professionals, most of whom tend to obtain working permits. The integration of immigrants from other Latin American countries, who represent nearly 75% of all immigrants (by far the largest group of foreigners in Chile), does not face significant difficulties since these immigrants share a common language and, to a certain degree, a similar cultural background. Typically, Peruvians have been the biggest immigrant group in Chile. However, in the period under review, most residence applications were submitted by Venezuelans due to the multiple crises in their country. Since 2013, immigration from Venezuela has grown by a factor of 19.

Latest estimates indicate that there will be about 600,000 immigrants living in Chile by the end of 2017 (about 3.5% of the population); this is an increase compared to the previous review period, but still a very small share in comparison to its neighbor Argentina or other OECD member states.

Also noteworthy is the fact that the relationship between emigration and immigration in Chile has changed. While in the past Chile registered higher rates of emigration than immigration, this is reversing due to the country’s economic development and political stability. The vast majority of immigrants settle in Chile’s capital Santiago and in those parts of the country characterized by a high concentration of mining activities – the country´s most important source of income. Because immigration happens most in these highly visible regions, migration policy has become more present in public discussions during the period under review. It is fair to assume that its importance will further increase, considering its impact on the country’s economic and social development.

In 2016 and 2017, laws were enacted that foster protection of refugees and their integration into Chilean society. Refugee children now receive privileged access to Chilean citizenship regardless of age and residence time when one of their parents adopts Chilean citizenship. Before this reform, only adult children qualified for receiving citizenship through a parent. Additionally, some administrative barriers for migrants to attend public schools have been lowered.

On the basis of Chile’s experience with the humanitarian resettlement of Palestinians, Bachelet’s government promised to host between 50 and 100 Syrian families, regardless of religion, but in the end, only 14 families had arrived by the end of October 2017.

Citations:
http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-hea lth/international-migration-outlook-2015_migr_outlook-2015-en#page196

http://www.latercera.com/noticia/nacional/2014/09/680-596709-9-inmigrantes-en-chile-mas -de-dos-tercios-trabajan-y-el-42-cotiza-en-fonasa.shtml

http://www.extranjeria.gob.cl/media/2016/02/Anuario-Estad%C3%ADstico-Nacional-Migraci%C3%B3n-en-Chile -2005-2014.pdf

http://www.ilo.org/santiago/sala-de-prensa/WCMS_555337/lang–es/index.htm

http://www.latercera.com/noticia/venezolanos-lideran-solicitudes-residencia-chile-2017/

http://www.pulso.cl/economia-dinero/censo-2017-gobierno-estima-poblacion-extranjera-llegaria-las-600-mil-personas/

Refugee policy: http://www.acnur.org/noticias/noticia/presidenta-de-chile-se-compromete-con-la-c risis-actual-de-los-refugiados/

Chilean plan for Syrian refugees: http://www.elmostrador.cl/noticias/opinion/2016/08/14/refugio-sirio-en-chile-un- imperativo-etico/

https://migrantes.mineduc.cl/2017/09/25/difusion-territorial-la-normativa-favorece-la-inclusion-estudiantes-extranjeros-sistema-educativo/

Safe Living

#37

How effectively does internal security policy protect citizens against security risks?

10
 9

Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks very effectively.
 8
 7
 6


Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks more or less effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens against security risks.
 2
 1

Internal security policy exacerbates the security risks.
Safe Living Conditions
7
Internal security policy is quite effective. While organized crime is not apparent to the average citizen, there are some disturbing trends: selective acts of terrorism (or acts classified as such) based on ethnic or political grounds, and a slightly rising incidence of drug-trafficking (and related crimes). Homicide rates in Chile are among Latin America’s lowest. Common crime rates have not shown any significant changes since 2012. Still, public perceptions of criminality tend to overestimate the statistical reality. According to a poll released in August 2017 by the Chilean survey institute Centro de Estudios Públicos, insecurity remains the overriding public concern (51%), ahead of health care (45%) and education (38%), despite the fact that the Nueva Mayoría government presented a positive balance for 2016 with a 5.6% fall in serious crime compared with the same period a year before.

Private security services are widespread in the wealthier urban areas, especially in Santiago. Chile has an extremely high share of prisoners among the younger population in particular. Prevention measures are not well developed. The last two governments each launched anti-crime programs focusing more on detection and repression than on prevention. These had very mixed results. Crime-control programs such as the Plan Cuadrante and the marked increase in the numbers of police officers have significantly reduced crime rates. Penal-code reforms and their implementation over the last eight years have also significantly raised the efficiency of crime detection and criminal prosecution. In the government’s 2017 state budget, security is one of the top three budgetary priorities (along with education and health).

Citations:
http://www.ine.cl/canales/chile_estadistico/encuestas_seguridadciudadana/victimizacion2013/presentacion_x_encuesta_nacional_seguridad_ciudadana.pdf

UNODC report 2013:
http://www.unodc.org/documents/gsh/pdfs/2014_GLOBAL_HOMICIDE_BOOK_web.pdf

On insecurity as the chief public concern:
https://www.cepchile.cl/cep/site/artic/20170831/asocfile/20170831165004/encuestacep_jul_ago2017.pdf

http://www.seguridadpublica.gov.cl/estadisticas/tasa-de-denuncias-y-detenciones/delitos-de-mayor-connotacion-social-casos-policiales/

Global Inequalities

#27

To what extent does the government demonstrate an active and coherent commitment to promoting equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries?

10
 9

The government actively and coherently engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. It frequently demonstrates initiative and responsibility, and acts as an agenda-setter.
 8
 7
 6


The government actively engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. However, some of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 5
 4
 3


The government shows limited engagement in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. Many of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute (and often undermines) efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries.
Global Social Policy
7
The Agencia Chilena de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AGCID) under the Ministry for External Relations has been the national agency responsible for international cooperation, South-South and triangular cooperation since 1990. Its current Strategy for the International Development was defined for the period 2015-2018.

Chile formally follows and promotes the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda (Agenda 2030) and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals in its foreign policies. In practice, those criteria do not necessarily give direction when it comes to decision-making regarding international cooperation with developing countries in the region (Chile cooperates nearly exclusively with Latin American developing and emerging countries). In respect of promoting fair access to global markets, Chile offers virtually no subsidies to domestic producers, and does not maintain protectionist trade barriers to imports.

Citations:
Agencia Chilena de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AGCID):
https://www.agci.cl/index.php/que-es-la-cooperacion

https://www.agci.cl/images/centro_documentacion/ESTRATEGIA_DE_COOPERACIÓN_26nov15.pdf
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