Vol. 38 No. 3 (2018): Jul-Sep / 2018

Vol. 38 No. 3 (2018)

Jul-Sep / 2018
Published February 26, 2020


A formal assessment of new-developmentalist theory and policy
Ariel Dvoskin, Germán David Feldman
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

We develop a formal framework that endogeneizes the productive structure of a small open peripheral economy as the outcome of a problem of technical choices. We subsequently examine the main theoretical theses and policy prescriptions of the New-Developmentalist approach to economic growth. We argue that: a) not only does the pattern of specialization depend on technical conditions, but also on income distribution; b) in an economy without rents, the level of the money wage-nominal exchange rate ratio is univocally determined once the rate of profits is known, and shows an inverse relationship with it; c) if differential rents are considered, the level of the rate of profits can be set independently of the money wage-exchange rate ratio; d) the level of the exchange rate that ensures normal profitability of the primary sector need not coincide with the current-account equilibrium rate; e) the effective exchange rate need not gravitate around any of these two former levels, which must be rather seen as minimum thresholds of the effective rate; e) the unpleasant distributive consequences of exchange-rate depreciation can be partially avoided by means of export duties that do not raise primary-commodities production costs. 

JEL Classification: B22; E11; F43.

U.S. banks profitability after the 2007/2008 crisis
Marco Bulhões Cecilio
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper aims to evaluate the profitability of the major American banks after the crisis of 2007/2008, as well as to seek preliminary explanations to the results found. To do so, it assesses the historical data from 1932 until 2015. The results show that the share of total profits in the American economy captured by the financial sector has reduced compared to the peak of the last decade but is still at a higher level than the post-war baseline. The evidence points to the decrease of leverage by regulatory pressure as the main cause of the reduction.

JEL Classification: E01; G21; N22

Is it the end of North-American hegemony? A structuralist perspective on Arrighis systemic cycles of accumulation and the theory of hegemonic stability
Marcos Vinicius Isaias Mendes
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The paper aims to present some aspects of the debate about the end of the hegemony of the United States, in light of the theories of systemic cycles of accumulation and hegemonic stability. Among the conclusions, the paper shows that the American hegemony is diminishing not only because of the emergence of new powerful countries, such as China, but because the international system, composed by new powerful actors such as multinational corporations, global cities, religious organizations and transnational terrorist groups, is diminishing the means by which the US has exercised its global power since the mid twentieth century. 

JEL Classification: F500

The market for the "old" and the economicse "new" institutional
Adriano José Pereira, Herton Castiglioni Lopes
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper conceives of the market as an institution, and contrasts two theoretical approaches: Institutionalism, with an evolutionary and analytical bias, whose theoretical basis comes from “Old/Original” Institutionalism, and New Institutional Economics, with an analytical, contractual approach, linked to mainstream economics. Both approaches have given relevant contributions, as they consider the importance of institutions for economic performance. The limits of New Institutional Economics are particularly relevant, whose analysis of the operation of markets is centered on the logic of transaction cost economics as a determinant of economic performance. Evolutionary Institutionalism, in turn, sees the market within a broader scope, in which cost economies only partially explains economic performance, but it is not necessarily seen as a determining factor.

JEL Classification: B15; D23.

Summers after Hansen? Comparison of conventional and nonconventional explanations for stagnation in advanced economies
Assilio Luiz Zanella de Araujo
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article aims at presenting and contrasting the conventional and nonconventional explanations for economic stagnation in advanced economies. While conventional explanations impute to a new rigidity of these economies the chronic insufficiency of demand, Structural Keynesianism sees this as the result of the neoliberal economic policies and the destruction of the post-World War II institutions. Marxist explanation, even though do not neglect the negative impact of these policies, perceives this problem as resulting from the formation of the great international oligopolies. Due to similarities and possible complementarity, we think that an approximation between Structural Keynesianism and Marxism would be beneficial to both. 

JEL Classification: B50; E60; O11.

Revisiting the inercialist debate of Brazilian inflation
Hugo Carcanholo Iasco Pereira, Marcelo Luiz Curado
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The aim of this paper was to investigate the inertial inflation’s theory represented by the versions of economists from PUC-RJ and FGV-SP, emphasizing the theoretical elements present in each and how it materialized in the stabilization proposals for the Brazilian economy. Although there is a common background, the theories are substantially different. The conclusions suggested that the inercialist theories can’t be considered a uniform theoretical framework, especially with respect to break with orthodoxy and monetary conception, distributive conflict and stabilization’s plan and the necessity of neutrality distributive. 

JEL Classification: B0; B22.

The Economic-Monetary Virtù
Mauricio Metri
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article proposes to think about economy and currency as geo-strategic practices; in other words, as part of the central authorities' virtù that command the political-territorial units. It is argued that geopolitical disputes imply challenges, on the one hand, associated with the development of productive and military forces and, on the other hand, related to the central authority's spending capacity. Thereunto, this article articulates a reflection on the spatial dimension as an analytical category and a realistic view of the international system, in order to undertake an analysis of economic and monetary knowledge from of geopolitical challenges. 

JEL Classification: F50; F52; E42; N40.

Lula and Dilma governments in terms of social security and access to higfer education
Rosa Maria Marques, Salomão Barros Ximenes, Camila Kimie Ugino
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The article analyzes the social policies developed in Brazil by the Lula and Dilma governments (2003-2016). The focus is the Social Security and the access to higher education policies, presented and analyzed in four parts. The first is dedicated to the Bolsa Família Program, considered the flagship of PT's social programs. The second part deals with Social Security and the policy of valorization of the minimum wage; the third examines aspects of Health and the Unified Health System (SUS) and the fourth addresses the policy of access to higher education. It is concluded that the social policies carried out by the Lula and Dilma governments have a twofold character. On the one hand, they have undoubtedly been a step forward, improving living and reproductive conditions in the poorest parts of the country, especially because of the Bolsa Família Program, the valuation of the minimum wage and, to a smaller part, access to education. On the other hand, it can be seen that the path or instruments chosen for this improvement was income or wages, and the secular structures that generate poverty and inequality in the country are generally unchanged. At the same time, such governments were decisive in consolidating the private sector in social policy areas, inflating the pressure for privatization that will tend to intensify in the coming years. 

JEL Classification: H5; I18; I2; J3.

Composition of net interest payments of the Brazilian Government: 2002-2017
Nelson Henrique Barbosa-Filho
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper presents a methodology to decompose the net interest payments of the Brazilian government in five items: real-interest payments, inflation adjustment, exchange-rate swaps, financial cost of the government’s portfolio and second-order effects. The paper also presents an alternative methodology in which seigniorage is added to the initial list. The Brazilian data show important changes in the composition of the net interest paid in the last 15 years, with a reduction in real-interest payments in 2009-15, and an increase since then. The data also show that the financial cost of the government’s portfolio grew substantially since 2006, due to the accumulation of international reserves by the Central Bank and the government’s loans to its national development bank (BNDES). 

JEL Classification: H60; N16; E40.

Feminist economics: methodologies, research problems and theoretical proposals toward gender equality
Brena Paula Magno Fernandez
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

In spite of the achievements observed in recent decades both in terms of political rights and the increasing participation of women in the labor market, gender inequalities still persist in various aspects of social life, being the economic perhaps one of the most visible one. We could list phenomena such as the wage gap between men and women who perform identical functions, sex segregation in the labor market, women’s insertion in more precarious jobs and the burden of domestic work as some of the main research objects of the so called feminist economics. Confronting this critical approach with the mainstream economics, this article aims to map some theoretical proposals and methodological tools available to identify gender inequalities. We also point out the need to review some principles and concepts of orthodox economics in the light of the criticism of feminist economics and the perspective of gender equality, considering the productive and reproductive spheres and the relations between them. 

JEL Classification: B41

Services innovation as a tool to social innovations: an integrative vision
Anita Kon
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Based on premises of the new field of studies proposed by the European Commission named as Social Innovation, the article examines the role of innovation in services as a tool for a more efficient attendance of social demands, through new forms of state and private intangible activities, in response to the complexity of the interrelationships and agents involved in this social objective. It presents concepts about the differentiated characteristics of innovation in services as a whole, and of specific innovation in social services. Then, it analyzes the theoretical aspects of organization and operationalization processes in social services. Finally, it examines the role of the new environment created by information networks in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of attending social activities, mainly through innovation in services.

JEL Classification: O35; L8.