Spending yes, progressivity no: the barriers to redistribution in Brazil

Vol. 43 No. 1 (2023)

Jan-Mar / 2023
Published February 28, 2023
Portuguese-PDF (Português (Brasil))
Portuguese-PDF (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Cimini, Fernanda, and Laura Rocha. 2023. “Spending Yes, Progressivity No: The Barriers to Redistribution in Brazil”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 43 (1):236-55. https://doi.org/10.1590/0101-31572023-3381.

Spending yes, progressivity no: the barriers to redistribution in Brazil

Fernanda Cimini
Professora do Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais – Cedeplar/UFMG, Belo Horizonte/MG, Brasil.
Laura Rocha
Cientista Social pela Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte/MG, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 43 No. 1 (2023), Jan-Mar / 2023, Pages 236-255


This article investigates the trajectory of the debate on redistribution and
taxation after redemocratization in Brazil, identifying factors potentially favorable to
progressive reforms, as well as obstacles to their implementation. Specifically, it aims to
understand the resilience of an unfair tax system in one of the most unequal democracies
in the world. Following a literature review, some exploratory hypotheses are proposed and
analyzed in a preliminary and indirect way through the identification of elements related
to inequality and taxation in the political platforms of Brazilian Presidents, from Collor to

JEL Classification: H2; O15; P00.

Keywords: Inequality taxation progressivity tax reform democracy