Historical experience of industrial policy in Brazil

Vol. 16 No. 1 (1996)

Jan-Mar / 1996
Published January 1, 1996
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Suzigan, Wilson. 1996. “Historical Experience of Industrial Policy in Brazil”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 16 (1):3-19. https://doi.org/10.1590/0101-31571996-0914.

Historical experience of industrial policy in Brazil

Wilson Suzigan
Professor Livre-Docente e Coordenador do Núcleo de Economia Industrial e da Tecnologia, Instituto de Economia da Universidade de Campinas – Unicamp, Campinas/SP, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 16 No. 1 (1996), Jan-Mar / 1996, Pages 3-19


This paper studies the practice of industrial policy and the corresponding effort
of institution building in Brazil from the 1930s to the 1970s. The argument is that, although
that practice and the respective institutional organization succeeded in the structuring of
Brazilian industry into a process of convergence towards the international industrial structure
and technological development patterns up to the 1970s, they showed themselves not
functional in catching up with the structural changes and the new technologies of the 1980s.
The paper concludes by pointing that both the established practice of industrial policy and
the related institutional organization led to a normative and institutional lock in which,
together with the political inertia, hindered the necessary changes at the beginning of the

JEL Classification: L52; O25.

Keywords: Industrial policy institutional building protectionism late industrialization