Vol. 21 No. 2 (2001): Apr-Jun / 2001

Vol. 21 No. 2 (2001)

Apr-Jun / 2001
Published April 1, 2001


Business Governance in Brazil and South Africa: How Much Convergence to The Anglo-Saxon Model?
Andrea E. Goldstein
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The effect of globalization on national economic and political strategies is a central theme in policy analysis. At the core of this debate is business governance, interpreted in this paper in a wide sense as the laws, rules, and routines that govern large-scale corporations. Conventional wisdom has it that cross-national patterns of business governance are converging on the so-called Anglo-Saxon, capital-market driven model. In this paper I analyze recent changes in Brazil and South Africa, to conclude that models of business governance should be seen jointly with the institutional underpinnings of the economy. These include legal traditions that are unlikely to undergo rapid changes, other institutional features directly related to the ways in which first compete in the global economy, and the mechanisms through which social actors resist changes adverse to their interests.

JEL Classification: K22; G34.

Social Currency Recognition Observations on inflation and the price stability in Brazil
Maria de Lourdes R. Mollo, Alfredo Saad Filho
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article deals with two aspects of inflation: distributive conflict and the role of extra money. ln this context, the paper discusses some characteristic features of inflation process in Brazil, difficulties of the reproduction of the money during the inflation process and what were the aspects that have been solved by the Real Plan. Finally, Plano Real’s prospects are addressed.

JEL Classification: E51; B51; F31.

La política de la privatización de las telecomunicaciones en Brasil
Maria Hermínia Tavares de Almeida
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The article discusses the politics of telecommunications’ privatization policies in Brazil. It argues that its features result from a thoroughly negotiated reform process, explained either by the institutional setting defining a particular veto points structure and by the predominant conceptions, among members of governing coalition, about the proper economic role of the State. In the first part, telecommunications sector’s conditions previous to privatization, the privatization policy and its results are rapidly presented. ln the second part, the ideas about the economic role of the state underlying the debate about privatization of State-owned enterprises are summarized. ln the third part, it discusses the political process through which the privatization of telecommunications came true, stressing the role of institutions and relevant actors.

JEL Classification: K23; L33; L96.

Is there an ideological link between neopopulism and neoliberalism?
Victor Armony
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper deals with the resurgence of populism in Latin America, and particularly with the ideological underpinnings of this phenomenon. Quite unexpectedly, populism has reemerged in several countries, such as Argentina and Peru, in the wake of drastic and all-encompassing neoliberal reforms. This novel situation calls for a reinterpretation of the populist phenomenon. The author contends that neoliberalism and neopopulism have established a strong link at the ideological level. In order to provide empirical evidence for this hypothesis, a corpus of Carlos Menem’s presidential discourse has been analyzed. The author concludes by suggesting that neoliberalism itself tends to stir up populist tendencies in society.

JEL Classification: D72; Z13; E61.

Minimum Wage, “Lighthouse Effect” and Poverty
Marcelo Neri, Gustavo Gonzaga, José Márcio Camargo
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the minimum wage policy in various segments of Brazilian labor markets. Our basic technique is to quantify corner solutions imposed by the minimum wage. These points are later used as a focalization mechanism in the simulation of upper bounds of the effects of the minimum wage on poverty measures. We highlight the importance of two unusual effects of the minimum wage, i) The high percentage of informal employees receiving exactly one minimum wage, this enhances the effects of the minimum on poverty, and ii) The use of the minimum wage as a numeraire in wage determination, in particular within the formal sector.

JEL Classification: J31; J38.

The East Asian Crisis in Kindleberger-Minsky’s Framework
Omar F. Saqib
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The paper reviews the 1997 East Asian crisis within the framework of the five stages of displacement, boom, overtrading, revulsion, and tranquility of the Kindleberger-Minsky model. It further notes that the recent interpretations of the crisis, based on the hypotheses of fundamental imbalances and financial panic, conform to the stages of the Kindleberger-Minsky model.

JEL Classification: F31; F32.

Transaction Costs Theory and evolutionary approaches: Analysis and Perspectives of a Pluralist Research Program
Huáscar Fialho Pessali, Ramón García Fernández
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Transaction Costs Theory has been considered the “new orthodoxy” of the theory of the firm, and it is also the reason for it has been widely criticized by different schools of economic thought. However, there seems to be signs of complementarity between TCT and evolutionary approaches to the firm. Some alleged interfaces are discussed here, in order to suggest new directions for a research agenda on the theory of the firm, within a pluralistic framework.

JEL Classification: B25; D21.

Interest rate, liquidity preference and loan funds: a critical analysis of attempts to demonstrate equivalence between the theory of loan funds and preference for liquidity
José Luís Oreiro
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article presents the attempts to demonstrate the equivalence between loanable funds and liquidity preference theories of interest rate done by Hicks, Lerner, Tsiang and Patinkin in order to show that these attempts were not succeed. That is so because these attempts had started from wrong conceptions about what are the issues under discussion in the debate between loanable funds and liquidity preference theories or because they had misrepresented one or another of both theories. ln fact, the attempts done by Hicks and Patinkin disconsider the fact that what was essential in this debate was the mechanism by which saving and investment decisions have influence in the determination of interest rate. On the other hand, the attempts of Lerner and Tsiang misrepresent the relation between saving and investment and the finance motive of demand for money that is supposed by both theories.

JEL Classification: B22; E12.

Technology, Organizations and Productivity: Lessons from Solow’s Paradox
Francisco Lima Cruz Teixeira
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The objective of this work is to discuss the relationship between diffusion of technology, organizational changes and productivity growth. The theoretical and empirical literature on the relationship between information technology (IT) diffusion and productivity growth is reviewed, focusing on Solow’s Paradox. An approach that tries to explain this Paradox from the perspective of the diffusion of technological and organizational innovations is adopted. In the conclusions, considerations about public policies for dealing with the new technologies are presented.

JEL Classification: O41; O10.

Determinism and free will in social sciences: mathematical contributions
Francisco Louçã
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The paper surveys some of the powerful criticisms developed against the paradigm of general equilibrium, in particular those that were presented from the viewpoint of new insights from mathematics and physics. Maxwell, Duhem, Poincare?, Hurst and Mandelbrot, as many others, contrasted the universe of simplicity – the basis for the central limit theorem and most of traditional statistical inference – with the universe of organized complexity, arguing that auto-poiesis and coordination are indeed general features of our physical or social systems. The impact of these discussions in economics is then presented, since some criticisms to the theory of general equilibrium and in particular to the Cowles Commission programme emerged from this intuition on complexity: Sims, Granger, Wold, Hendry and other economists, statisticians or mathematicians expressed their reservations in relation to the orthodox tradition and culture in our science. The current heterodox strategies are discussed in the last part of the paper.

JEL Classification: B41; B00.