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Was it Uruguay or coffee? The causes of the beef jerky industry’s decline in southern Brazil (1850 – 1889)[Was it Uruguay or coffee? The causes of the beef jerky industry’s decline in southern Brazil (1850 – 1889)]


  • Thales Augusto Zamberlan Pereira



What caused the decline of beef jerky production in Brazil? The main sustenance for slaves, beef jerky was the most important industry in southern Brazil. Nevertheless, by 1850, producers were already worried that they could not compete with Uruguayan industry. Traditional interpretations attribute this decline to the differences in productivity between labor markets; indeed, Brazil utilized slave labor,whereas Uruguay had abolished slavery in 1842. Recent research also raises the possibility of a Brazilian "Dutch disease",which resulted from the coffee export boom. We test both hypotheses and argue that Brazilian production's decline was associated with structural changes in demand for low-quality meat. Trade protection policies created disincentives for Brazilian producers to increase productivity and diversify its cattle industry.

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  • Thales Augusto Zamberlan Pereira, 2016. "Was it Uruguay or coffee? The causes of the beef jerky industry’s decline in southern Brazil (1850 – 1889)[Was it Uruguay or coffee? The causes of the beef jerky industry’s decline in southern Brazil ," Nova Economia, Economics Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), vol. 26(1), pages 7-42, January-A.
  • Handle: RePEc:nov:artigo:v:26:y:2016:i:1:p:7-42

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leonardo Monteiro Monasterio, 2003. "FHC Errou? A Economia da Escravidão no Brasil Meridional," Anais do XXXI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 31st Brazilian Economics Meeting] a40, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Versiani, Flávio Rabelo, 1994. "Brazilian slavery: toward an economic analysis," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil), vol. 48(4), October.
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    More about this item


    Brazilian slavery; Dutch disease; Uruguay trade;

    JEL classification:

    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N56 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology


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