Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership, and Institutional Change by Lee J. AlstonBrazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership, and Institutional Change by Lee J. Alston

Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership, and Institutional Change

byLee J. Alston, Marcus André Melo, Bernardo Mueller

Hardcover | May 24, 2016

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Brazil is the world's sixth-largest economy, and for the first three-quarters of the twentieth century was one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. While the country underwent two decades of unrelenting decline from 1975 to 1994, the economy has rebounded dramatically. How did this nation become an emerging power? Brazil in Transition looks at the factors behind why this particular country has successfully progressed up the economic development ladder. The authors examine the roles of beliefs, leadership, and institutions in the elusive, critical transition to sustainable development.

Analyzing the last fifty years of Brazil's history, the authors explain how the nation's beliefs, centered on social inclusion yet bound by orthodox economic policies, led to institutions that altered economic, political, and social outcomes. Brazil's growth and inflation became less variable, the rule of law strengthened, politics became more open and competitive, and poverty and inequality declined. While these changes have led to a remarkable economic transformation, there have also been economic distortions and inefficiencies that the authors argue are part of the development process.

Brazil in Transition demonstrates how a dynamic nation seized windows of opportunity to become a more equal, prosperous, and rules-based society.

Lee J. Alston is the Ostrom Chair, professor of economics and law, and director of the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University, as well as research associate at the NBER. Marcus André Melo is professor of political science at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil. Bernardo Mueller is professor of economics at the University of Br...
Title:Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership, and Institutional ChangeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:280 pagesPublished:May 24, 2016Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691162913

ISBN - 13:9780691162911


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

List of Tablesxiii



Part I. An Overview of Brazil in Transition: Beliefs, Leadership, and Institutional Change 1

Chapter 1. Introduction 3

Economic Development and Critical Transitions 3

Brazil: This Time for Real? 7

A Sketch of the Conceptual Framework 14

Analytical Narratives and Economic Development 16

Road Map for the Book 19

Chapter 2. A Conceptual Dynamic for Understanding Development 24

Beliefs, Leadership, Dominant Network, and Windows of Opportunity 24

Difference in Difference in Changing Beliefs 28

Overview of Dominant Network, Beliefs, and Institutions in Brazil from 1964 to 2014 33

1964-1984 33

1985-1993 36

1994-2014 38

Summary 39

Part II. Introduction to the Case Study of Brazil, 1964-2014 41

Identifying Beliefs 45

Appendix: A Primer on the Brazilian Political System 50

Chapter 3. From Disorder to Growth and Back: The Military Regime (1964-1984) 54

From Chaos to a Short Period of Order 54

From Order to Unsustainable Growth 59

The Miracle Fades 64

Back to Disorder 67

The Decline of Developmentalism 70

Chapter 4. Transition to Democracy and the Belief in Social Inclusion (1985-1993) 71

A New Belief Emerges 71

The Transition to Democracy 72

Codifying Beliefs: The Constitution of 1988 76

The Constitution-Making Process 78

The Constitution's Delegation of Powers to the President 87

Back to Uncertainty and Chaos 90

Failures of the Brazilian Economic Plans before the Real 91

The Collor Government: Great Hope, Huge Disappointment 93

Chapter 5. Cardoso Seizes a Window of Opportunity (1993-2002) 97

The Real Plan 99

Early Institutional Deepening: Constitutional Amendments 103

Coalition Management under Cardoso 107

Asserting Fiscal Control over States 108

Staying the Course against the Early Opposition to the Real Plan 110

Sustaining Stability in the Face of External Shocks 116

Cardoso's Second Term: Combining Macro Orthodoxy with Social Inclusion 117

The Reassertion of Presidential Fiscal Authority 119

Conclusions 120

Chapter 6. Deepening Beliefs and Institutional Change (2002-2014) 122

The Uncertain Transition 122

Continuity in Change 126

Deepening the Social Contract 128

Checks and Balances vs. Strong Presidential Powers 138

The New Economic Matrix and Dilma's Policy Switch 150

Beliefs? Really? . . . Really! 154

The Messy Process of Dissipative Inclusion 161

Conclusion 165

Part III. A General Inductive Framework for Understandin Critical Transitions 169

Chapter 7. A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Critical Transitions 171

Understanding Critical Transitions 172

How Does Our Framework Fit in the Literature? 173

The Building Blocks of Our Conceptual Framework 176

Windows of Opportunity 176

Dominant Network 177

Beliefs 180

Leadership 186

Institutions 189

Economic and Political Outcomes 190

Dynamics 191

Argentina: An Illustrative Use of the Framework 199

The Camelot Years: 1912-1930 200

Electoral Fraud and the Rise of Perón: 1930-1946 201

Instability Is the Rule: Oscillations between Populism and Military Rule: 1946-Present 204

Concluding Remarks 207

Chapter 8. Conclusion 209

Better and Worse at the Same Time 210

Assessing the Framework 214

Brazil and the Critical Transition 216




Editorial Reviews

"Exploring Brazil's stunning-if incomplete-economic progress of recent decades and the unexpected institutional shifts that underscored it, this book posits a new framework for understanding economic development in the modern era. Firmly grounded in history and sound scholarship, Brazil in Transition does an outstanding job delving into the Brazilian experience from 1964 to today."-Anne G. Hanley, Northern Illinois University