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close this bookThe Nutrition and Health Transition of Democratic Costa Rica (INFDC, 1995, 228 p.)
close this folder5. Socioeconomic factors for the understanding of health policy during the 1970s
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentRecognition of social demands and the regulation of the conflict during the 1930s and 1940s
View the documentThe social government in the new development strategy of Costa Rica during the 1950s and 1960s
View the documentThe consolidated social government
View the documentFinal reflections
View the documentAcknowledgement
View the documentReferences


From 1950 to 1980 a social policy was implemented in Costa Rica that achieved current outcomes that compared favorably with the social indicators of most developed nations. These outcomes developed particularly rapidly during the 1970s. The reasons for this phenomenon, although extensively studied, still require further clarification. This chapter analyzes some factors that help to explain these results. The intent is to provide new insights for understanding this process.

Costa Rica began to apply a development strategy in the 1950s with a social policy taking into account the specific issues of importance to a developing country. This strategy has had success, not only because of a historical accident, but also because it combined with the improvement of factors related to the current history of the country. This process was accelerated during the 1970s with governments oriented toward the generation of public profits that required the building of consensus among the different sectors in society.

In order to analyze the process and link it with world trends as well as with the historical trends of the country this chapter is divided into three parts. The first part analyzes the emergence of the social government in Costa Rica. This section also analyzes the characteristics of the social and economic development of Costa Rica that help to understand the emergence of this type of government during the 1950s. The second part analyzes the fundamental characteristics of the social government in relationship to other spheres of society that integrated the same socioeconomic strategy in Costa Rica. The third part analyzes the outcome during the 1970s of the accelerated emergence of a government with strong social goals.