Maia Sieverding

Document Type

Working Paper


This paper employs a generational comparison to examine how increasing labor market informality has affected how poor households in Egypt gain access to and rely on social protection schemes. The results indicate that among the generation of Egyptians approaching retirement, the expansion of public employment and a policy allowing easy access to survivors’ benefits among female dependents served as important means of increasing social insurance coverage. However, many young households do not have even one member enrolled in the public pension system. Labor market instability and informality have also lowered the perceived value of social protection among this generation. The paper discusses five common points of vulnerability across the groups studied, all of which may create significant barriers to social protection access among poor households, and must be addressed if coverage rates are to be extended, or even maintained, in the future.