Experimental Design of a Non-Contributory Social Security Program in Mexico

We designed with the State of Yucatan, Mexico, a non-contributory social security program for towns with more than 20,000 inhabitants, and evaluated its impact on the welfare of residents 70 years or over. We employed a quasi-experimental and randomized design with treatment and control groups and measurements before and after the intervention. People over age 70 get a pension of about US$69 at 2010 purchasing power parity (PPP) per month. This study follows both treatment and control groups over time to examine short and longer term effects. This is a unique project to test and understand the effects of non-contributory pension systems on the health and welfare of the elderly.

Many countries around the world have introduced non-contributory social security programs, including Brazil, Bangladesh, Mexico, and South Africa. Non-contributory social security programs are implemented as a poverty alleviation measure for elderly with no contributory social security coverage or employer provided pensions. Given the worldwide trend of aging populations, it is important to learn about the long-term and short-term effects of these programs.



This research was supported by funding from the State of Yucatan and by Grants R01AG035008, P01AG022481, and R21AG033312 from the National Institute on Aging and various units at the RAND Corporation.



  1. Evaluation 1: Valladolid – Motul
  • Evaluation 2: Merida Cash
  • Evaluation 3: Merida Debit Card
  • Manuals


    1. Evaluation 1: Valladolid – Motul (by request, please email us at nubis-l@mymaillists.usc.edu

    Updates and data for Evaluation 2 and Evaluation 3 coming up soon.