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Conflicts in Development: Tourism and the Cattle Industry in Brazil


  • Nicolas Sanchez

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • John F. O'Connell

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)


This paper challenges the conventional view that where there is a political elite, economic development will proceed along lines that sacrifice future generations for the benefit of the current ruling class. We find that shortfalls in the balance of payments will cause those in authority to promote activities that encourage tourism as a solution to balance of payments deficit. The vehicle for generating tourism is the provision of public goods. More traditional paths toward development particularly cattle ranching are displaced by tourist attractions. While motivated by myopic self-interest, the pursuit of public goods reduces the amount of debt transferred to future generations and thereby serves to redistribute wealth inter-temporally. Brazil over the period 1965 until 1998 is used as a test case.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Sanchez & John F. O'Connell, 2005. "Conflicts in Development: Tourism and the Cattle Industry in Brazil," Working Papers 0512, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0512

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    File Function: Revised version of paper presented at 2005 WEA meetings, San Francisco, CA.
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Antonio Rangel, 2003. "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: Why Is Social Security Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 813-834, June.
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    More about this item


    tourism; cattle; ecotourism; public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General


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