Using unique household data sets for six Latin American countries, the essays collected in this volume put together a compelling picture of the effects of privatization. Prices usually increase significantly in the wake of privatization, which can prove particularly difficult for low-income groups. On the other hand, privatized services often lead to expanded coverage, greatly benefiting even poorer groups. Symbolic issues as well as material outcomes are relevant, as access to public services generates a sense of inclusion and provision of basic rights to historically excluded populations.
The expansion of service that has accompanied privatizations in Latin America not only provides the less well-off with the opportunity to use those services, but also offers the possibly more important benefit of a sense of inclusion in society. Increased access to services further allows Latin Americans to enjoy a higher quality of life and provides the opportunity to generate more stable sources of income.
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