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Inequality, Democracy, and Growth in Brazil - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128019511, 9780128019658

Inequality, Democracy, and Growth in Brazil

1st Edition

A Country at the Crossroads of Economic Development

Author: Marcos Mendes
Paperback ISBN: 9780128019511
eBook ISBN: 9780128019658
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 19th November 2014
Page Count: 280
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In terms accessible to non-economists, Marcos José Mendes describes the ways democracy and inequality produce low growth in the short and medium terms. In the longer term, he argues that Brazil has two paths in front of it. One is to create the conditions necessary to boost economic performance and drive the country toward a high level of development. The other is to fail in untying the political knot that blocks growth, leaving it a middle-income country. The source of his contrasting futures for Brazil is inequality, which he demonstrates is a relevant variable in any discussion of economic growth. Inequality illuminates causes of seemingly-unconnected problems. This book, which includes freely-accessible documents and datasets, is the first in-depth analysis of an issue that promises to become increasingly prominent.

Key Features

  • Contrasting visions of Brazil’s future described in economic terms
  • Easy-to-understand graphs and tables illustrate analytical arguments
  • All Excel-based data available on a freely-accessible website


Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students working in economics and finance as well as professionals studying Latin America and developing countries in general.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Disclaimers
  • About the Author
  • Acknowledgments
  • Dedication
  • Introduction
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2
    • Chapter 3
    • Chapter 4
    • Chapter 5
    • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 1: Low Economic Growth and its Proximate Causes
    • Abstract
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Sources of economic growth
    • 1.3 The Brazilian economy during the military government (1964-1984) and the transition to democracy
    • 1.4 Low growth
    • 1.5 Proximate causes for low growth in 10 stylized facts
    • 1.6 The story behind low growth
    • Annex 1
  • Chapter 2: Inequality
    • Abstract
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 The composition of inequality
    • 2.3 The fall of inequality since the mid-1990s
    • 2.4 Will inequality continue to fall?
    • 2.5 Are social policies effective in reducing inequality?
    • 2.6 Did inequality only begin to fall more intensely as of 2001?
    • 2.7 Social stratification after two decades of poverty and inequality reduction
    • 2.8 Conclusions
  • Chapter 3: Redistribution to the Rich
    • Abstract
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 What does economic theory have to say?
    • 3.3 Inequality, extractive institutions, and rent seeking in Brazil
    • 3.4 Evidence of redistribution to the rich in Brazil
  • Chapter 4: Redistribution to the Poor
    • Abstract
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 What does economic theory have to say?
    • 4.3 The fiscal impact of income transfer to the poor
    • 4.4 Expansion of public education for the poor and its Fiscal impact
    • 4.5 Expansion of public health to the poor and its fiscal impact
    • 4.6 Conclusions
  • Chapter 5: The Middle Class Joins the Game
    • Abstract
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 What does economic theory have to say?
    • 5.3 Rent seeking in legal disputes
    • 5.4 The elderly as a politically preferred public
    • 5.5 Public education that does not serve the poor
    • 5.6 The political power of civil servants
    • 5.7 Labor unions and resistance to labor legislation reform
    • 5.8 Income-tax exemptions
    • 5.9 18 Great farm debt renegotiations in 19 years
    • 5.10 The widespread distributive conflict
    • 5.11 Conclusions
  • Chapter 6: Redistribution and Long-Term Growth
    • Abstract
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 What does economic theory have to say?
    • 6.3 Which path will brazil take?
    • 6.4 Conclusions
  • Glossary
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2014
19th November 2014
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Marcos Mendes

Marcos José Mendes is a member of a Brazilian think tank Fernand Braudel Institute of World Economics. He earned a Ph.D. from Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil) and is a Legislative Advisor in economics for the Brazilian Federal Senate. He started the research for this book in 2012-13 during an eight month visiting

fellowship at the Department of Economics at the London School of Economics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senado Federal - Consultor Legislativo, Brasilia, Brazil


"Brazil: the nation of the future? According to Mendes the answer is 'not yet.' Mendes proposes ten powerful stylised facts which suggest that Brazil still has a long way to go. This book is required reading for all interested in development in Brazil and also in other developing countries." --Manoel Bittencourt, University of Pretoria

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