Vol. 9 No. 4 (1989): Oct-Dec / 1989

Vol. 9 No. 4 (1989)

Oct-Dec / 1989
Published October 1, 1989


Underdevelopment: to conform or reform
Celso Furtado
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This is a synthesis, where the author summarizes his theory of development and
underdevelopment. Some basic ideas are here presented: the economic theory of development
must start with the study of history; underdevelopment is a specific historical and
economical phenomenon, that cannot be thought of in terms of linear stages of history;
this historical phenomenon must be studied in structural terms, relating the history and the
economic aspects; the basic characteristic of underdevelopment is the dependency relation,
expressed in the center-periphery system; in the study of the development, the basic concept
to start with is the concept of social surplus, its forms of appropriation and utilization. The
paper ends with an analysis of the frustrations of a reformist. Protectionism, which was justifiable
in the first phase of industrialization, was maintained for too long in Latin America;
in the second phase, an active economic policy exports was necessary. On the other hand, the populist risk was always present, while the real social problems related to a high level of
income concentration were not solved.

JEL Classification: B22; E12; B31.

Celso Furtado and the Brazilian economic thought
Guido Mantega
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Celso Furtado’s works mark both the appearance and the consolidation of the
Brazilian economic thought. His main works (like Formação Econômica do Brasil and Desenvolvimento
e Subdesenvolvimento) established the reference basis for the economic debate
that has taken place in the last thirty years in Brazil. The theory of underdevelopment,
elaborated by Celso Furtado, supplied the theoretical basis of development, the doctrine
which guided several Latin American governments’ economic policies, and asserted the establishment
of industrialization in Brazil. This article seeks to recompose the steps for the
constitution of the theory of underdevelopment, explaining the main theoretical questions
about that problem and its practical results.

JEL Classification: B22; B31.

Economic formation of Brazil: a masterpiece of ECLAC
Ricardo Bielschowsky
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Celso Furtado’s Formação Econômica do Brasil is the most famous book in Brazilian
economic literature and has been so since its very first edition thirty years ago. By that
time, it immediately had a considerable impact on the Brazilian social sciences. This paper is
concerned with the Brazilian intellectual and ideological context of the 1950s and points out
the “Ecla-structuralists” elements in Furtado’s masterpiece. The book’s methodology as well
as its analytical aspects have a strong connection to that context.

JEL Classification: B22; B31; Y30.

The debt problem and the new phase of the global crisis
Alain Lipietz
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article deals with the phases and problems in the crisis of transition from
“Fordism” to a new order and a new growth model for the world economy. The two different
responses to the productivity fall problems – radical reduction of labor costs or a new social
contract – are pointed as determinants of the crisis evolution and, in special, of the development
of the American commercial deficit and Treasury debt, and the third world debt. It is
shown that the solution by debt payment is not viable and that macroeconomic logic leads
to devaluation as an adequate response. Ethical, political, and technical problems of this
scheme are analised indicating that more probably the debt devaluation will be combined
with a readjustment of the export flux of the United States and the Third World against
Europe and Japan. Finally, the possibilities of a significant European contribution to this
readjustment are discussed. It is argued that, for this to occur, a common social policy for
Europe must be adopted before the 1992 unification.

JEL Classification: F50; F55; P10.

The adjustment of public déficit in the presence a high debt: observations about the Brazilian case
Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article examines the obstacles to public sector adjustment arising from the
existence of a high level of government debt in the form of short-term or floating interest
rate obligations. In this context, adjustment programmes that rely exclusively on increases
in taxation and/or reductions in non-financial government expenditures have limited possibilities
of success. Besides making the budget highly vulnerable to increases in external and
internal interest rates, the size and composition of Brazilian public debt severely restrict the
effectiveness of monetary and exchange-rate policies. The article concludes that under present
circumstances a successful stabilization programme would have to involve fiscal adjustment,
a shock treatment against inflation, and a restructuring of government debt.

JEL Classification: H63; E62.

The Bretton Woods Agreement and historical evidence. The post-war international financial system
Samuel Kilsztajn
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The Bretton Woods Agreement reflected the United States’ hegemony in the
postwar period and the dollar was linked to the commodity that has historically represented
international money – gold. Nevertheless, the other developed countries could not allow
currency convertibility until 1958 and in 1960 the dollar crisis was already evident. From
the “dollar shortage” to the dollar crisis, Bretton Woods was in fact only a mirage. The most
significant aspect of the dollar crisis was certainly the development of the Euromoney market.
At the present time, with the “gold standard”, on one hand, and projects for an artificial
currency, on the other, the international monetary system is evolving toward an oligopolar

JEL Classification: N20; N10.

Keynesian theories of investment: neo-, post-, and new
Steven Fazzari
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The general objective of this piece is to analyze the formulations developed by
three interpretative strands of Keynes’ investment theory, specifically with regard to the
interrelationships between real and monetary-financial variables. After highlighting the innovative
character of Keynes’ formulation on the issue, the author goes through the approaches
of neo-Keynesians (neoclassical synthesis), post-Keynesians, and New Keynesians,
in an attempt to focus on the central question of the article, that is, to assess the existence
or not of possible relationships between the new Keynesians and the two other approaches
with regard to the links between finance and investment. In particular, the author aims to
assess whether or not the formulations of the new Keynesians represent a convergence between
neo and post visions.

JEL Classification: E12; E22.


A criticism of the logical refutation of neoclassical macroeconomics
Alexandre Schwartsman, Luiz Fernando Eleutério Lopes, Samuel de Abreu Pessôa
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper is an answer to Gilson Schwartz’s paper, published in Revista de
Economia Política, vol. 9, n. 1. It shows that his intended logical refutation of the neoclassical
macroeconomic theory falls due to conceptual misunderstandings. It demonstrates these
misunderstandings and suggests some more reasonable ways of criticism to neoclassical

JEL Classification: B41; B21.

Against the funnel of economic process
Gilson Schwartz
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Rejoinder to “A critique of the logical refutation of neoclassical macroeconomics”,
by Schwartsmann, Lopes and Pessôa, published in this edition of the Brazilian Journal
of Political Economy.

JEL Classification: B41; B21.


The ‘Summer Plan’ and the structural crisis of the Brazilian economy
Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

On May 10, 1989, Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, Full Professor of Economics at
Fundação Getúlio Vargas and editor of this Journal, made the following presentation before
the joint meeting of the Finance Committee and the Economy Committee of the Chamber
of Deputies.

JEL Classification: E62; E31.

The fiscal crisis and budget guidelines
José Serra
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This is part of the report of Serra as the sponsor of the 1990 budget bill. This
was a relevant piece considering it was discussed just after the approval of a new constitution
in Brazil, with new legal dispositions and mandatory spending.

JEL Classification: H61; E62.