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The Regional Question in Brazil: Nature, Causes and Policies

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  • Alexandre Rands Barros

    () (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco)

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of the nature of the Brazilian Regional inequalities, focusing on some basic statistics and recent estimations that indicate that it arises mainly from differences on individual endowments (human capital) in the many regions, rather than on differences on the income captured by individual valuable attributes. It also reviews the major hypotheses to explain the inequalities and presents an alternative view, which argues that there is an equilibrium with inequalities that persists along time. Historical features of the colonial settlements in each region justified the original differences in their human capital. The paper then reviews the major regional policies applied in Brazil, hitherto, and evaluates them on the light of the hypothesis forwarded. The conclusion is that, as they did not tackle the major cause of inequalities, they end up generating limited results.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexandre Rands Barros, 2009. "The Regional Question in Brazil: Nature, Causes and Policies," Working Papers 50, Datamétrica Consultoria Econômica, revised 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:dtm:wpaper:50
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    2. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    4. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-1278, December.
    5. Alexandre Rands Barros, 2011. "Desigualdades Regionais no Brasil: Natureza, causas, origens e soluções," Working Papers 63, Datamétrica Consultoria Econômica, revised 2011.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
    7. Alexandre Rands & Cristiane Mesquita Soares, 2009. "The Role Of Social Capital On Individual Labor Incomes In Brazil," Working Papers 33, Datamétrica Consultoria Econômica, revised 2009.
    8. Joanna Alexopoulos & Tiago V. Cavalcanti, 2010. "Cheap home goods and persistent inequality," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 45(3), pages 417-451, December.
    9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    regional development; Brazilian Regional inequalities; Regional inequalities;

    JEL classification:

    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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