Vol. 32 No. 3 (2012): Jul-Sep / 2012

Vol. 32 No. 3 (2012)

Jul-Sep / 2012
Published July 1, 2012


Structuralist macroeconomics and the new developmentalism
Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper first presents some basic ideas and models of a structuralist development macroeconomics that complements and actualizes the ideas of the structuralist development economics that was dominant between the 1940s and the 1960s. A system of three models focusing on the exchange rate (the tendency to the cyclical overvaluation of the exchange rate, a critique of growth with foreign savings, and new a model of the Dutch disease) shows that it is not just volatile but chronically overvalued, and for that reason it is not just a macroeconomic problem; as a long term disequilibrium, it is in the core of development economics. Second, it summarizes “new developmentalism” – a sum of growth policies based on these models and on the experience of fast-growing Asian countries.

JEL Classification: E0; E19; O11; B22.

The “hot money” phenomenon in Brazil
Mylène Gaulard
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Because of its high interest rates, Brazil attracts more and more speculative capital flows, called “hot money”, under the form of foreign loans, direct or portfolio investments. Actually, the country is directly involved in a carry-trade strategy that tends to appreciate the real, what penalizes the Brazilian exportations of manufactured products. Moreover, capital inflows are extremely volatile, and their departure, causing a fall in loans granted to the Brazilian private banks, could provoke a dangerous burst of the speculative bubble they have contributed to form in the Brazilian real estate sector. 

JEL Classification: F32; E44; O54.

Fifteen years of monetary rigidity in Brazil after the Real Plan: a research agenda
André de Melo Modenesi, Rui Lyrio Modenesi
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Fifteen years of monetary inflexibility in Brazil after the Real Plan: a research agenda.The paper makes a review of literature and a research agenda on the anomaly of Brazilian monetary policy. Following a retrospect of the first 15 years after the Real Plan, there is a review of studies aiming to explain the high real interest rate. None of the summarized theses can completely explain the phenomenon. The main research opportunities are: deepening of empirical evidence of monetary policy efficacy loss; improvement in mensuration of its inefficacy; and improvement of alternative instruments to control inflation. The field of political economy is also fertile. One should assess the relevance of oligopolies as an explaining factor of persistence of high inflation.

JEL Classification: E31.

Brazil as an emerging economy: a new economic miracle?
Edmund Amann, Werner Baer
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article shows that abundant resources and blind faith in an optimistic future cannot result in sustainable growth in Brazil. There are great deficiencies in various areas which make sustained high growth rates almost impossible to achieve, such as the low investment ratio, deficiencies in creating human capital, high interest rates leading to an uncompetitive exchange rate and a lack of infrastructural development.

JEL Classification: O11; O12; O43; O54.


Exchange rate regime and structural changes in the Brazilian manufacturing industry
Eliane Araújo, Miguel Bruno, Débora Pimentel
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article proposes an analysis of the relationship between exchange rate regime and evolution of the Brazilian manufacturing industry during the period 1980-2008. Its main purpose is to detect the direction of the structural changes imposed by the new form of international ion consolidated throughout the 1990s. The work also provides new empirical evidence regarding the assumptions of deindustrialization and "Dutch disease", which mark the current debate on the effects of the appreciation of real exchange rate in the Brazilian economy.

JEL Classification: F31; L16; L17; L25.

Freedom of choice and bounded rationality A brief appraisal of behavioral economists plea for light paternalism
Roberta Muramatsu, Patrícia Fonseca
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Behavioral economics has addressed interesting positive and normative questions underlying the standard rational choice theory. More recently, it suggests that, in a real world of boundedly rational agents, economists could help people to improve the quality of their choices without any harm to autonomy and freedom of choice. This paper aims to scrutinize available arguments for and against current proposals of light paternalistic interventions mainly in the domain of intertemporal choice. It argues that incorporating the notion of bounded rationality in economic analysis and empirical findings of cognitive biases and self-control problems cannot make an indisputable case for paternalism.

JEL Classification: B40; B41; D11; D91.

Structural changes and labor market in Brazil
Rafael Camargo de Pauli, Luciano Nakabashi, Armando Vaz Sampaio
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

 In the present article, we attempt to identify the sources of the changes in the labor schooling level in the three main sectors of the Brazilian economy: manufacturing, services and agriculture. It was verified that, despite the changes in the product and employment among sectors, mainly in the 90s, the relative demands for qualified workers has not experimented significant changes. Moreover, in the periods in which schooling has increased more, the workers’ wage has decreased more. This fact suggests that the increase in labor qualification was mainly due to the increase of this factor supply. The structural changes had contributed, in general, in a marginal and negative way to labor force level of qualification demand in all the three sectors.

JEL Classification: F16; I20; J22; J23; J24.

Estimating the return to education considerate the legislation of education in Brazil as an instrumental variable
Wladimir Teixeira, Naércio Aquino Menezes-Filho
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper aims to estimate the impact of education on wages in Brazil. GDP, Population, and the number of schools in the state and year when the individual was born as instruments for his education level were used. In this context, the paper consider other instrument, the Brazilian education Law 5692 of 1971. The results show that the Law 5692 of 1971 and the number of schools in the individual´s year of birth bears a positive relationship with his education, and the returns to education decrease quite substantially when the method of instrumental variables is used. 

JEL Classification: J30; J31; I21.

Age-grade gap from different theoretical perspectives
Rosana Ribeiro, Maria Cristina Cacciamali
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The purpose of this article is to analyze the determinants of the age-grade gap based on the human capital theory and some education sociology approaches. The article also shows the range and limitations of the Family Scholarship Transfer Programme (programa Bolsa Familia) in this age-grade gap reduction process. From the investigated theoretical aspects it can be concluded that this Programme would only show long-term effectiveness in the poverty reduction process if supported by at least a combination of programs and actions aimed at improving this educational indicator. 

JEL Classification: I25.

Trade with China and strategy in South American recent economic development
Ernesto A. O'Connor
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Trade between South America and China has been an important source of the high growth shown by those economies in the ‘2000s. During the globalization of the ‘90s, trade between the region and China had not developed so much. A rather sharp growth in China’s presence in world trade since the beginning of the ‘2000s changed the world trade trends for MERCOSUR countries, or, at least, for many of them. The impact of the increasing trade of agrifood has been very relevant, and different per country. Strategy is another important issue, referring to bilateral relations with China. This country should be seen as a partner in the global trade, and not as a new foreign investor for the region, but this may be different in the context of different national strategies of South American countries.

JEL Classification: F14; N55; N56; O13; Q17.