Historical origins of Brazilian relative backwardness

Vol. 35 No. 1 (2015)

Jan-Mar / 2015
Published January 1, 2015

How to Cite

Rands Barros, Alexandre. 2015. “Historical Origins of Brazilian Relative Backwardness”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 35 (1):75-94. https://centrodeeconomiapolitica.org.br/repojs/index.php/journal/article/view/215.

Historical origins of Brazilian relative backwardness

Alexandre Rands Barros
President of Datamétrica Consultoria, Pesquisa e Telemarketing Ltda.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 35 No. 1 (2015), Jan-Mar / 2015, Pages 75-94


This paper relies on some data to identify the XIX century as the major period in which Brazil Economy lagged behind some chosen benchmarking countries, as the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and some European periphery countries. To identify the reasons for this an exercise using immigration data was used to make a decomposition of the sources of growth of the Proportion of the USA per capita GDP to the Brazilian one. The results indicate that the imported human capital was responsible for 59% to 88% of this total growth between 1820 and 1900.

JEL Classification: N10; N11; N16.

Keywords: Brazilian backwardness Brazilian growth immigration comparative development