Publications on Brazil
Working Paper No. 1041 | February 2024
Can Green Spending Reduce Gender and Race Inequalities?Announced in June 2021, the never-implemented Green Recovery Plan for the Brazilian Legal Amazon Region (GRP) would be a green transition initiative to be carried out by the state governments of the region. The GRP represented the first large-scale proposal aiming at the transition to a low-carbon economy in Brazil and offered a preliminary framework to evaluate the opportunities and limitations of green development in Global South economies. The GRP's initial phase would provide an investment of 1.5 billion reais (around $315 million in September 2023) in four areas: control of illegal deforestation, sustainable development, green technology, and green infrastructure. This article presents a counterfactual analysis by assessing the impacts of green spending in Amazon on the labor market, quantitatively—in terms of the number of jobs created—and qualitatively—exploring the distribution of those jobs by region and according to gender and race categories. We build synthetic sectors representing each area of investment in a two-region input-output matrix (“Brazilian Amazon” and “Rest of Brazil”). Using employment multipliers, we simulate a demand shock on the Amazonian economy and its impact on job creation in the two regions. Results suggest that green spending in the Amazon offers good perspectives (but also highlights limitations) for a just transition to a low-carbon economy in Brazil: the effects on employment favored the female workforce (both black and white) relative to the male and black workforce in the Amazon, leading to inequality-reducing composition changes in the Brazilian workforce as whole.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Luiza Nassif Pires Gilberto Tadeu Lima Pedro Romero Marques Tainari Taioka José Bergamin
Working Paper No. 1016 | February 2023Monetary policy has been historically concerned with controlling inflation, using the interest rate as its main tool. However, such policies are not gender- or race-neutral. This paper explores econometrically the effect of changes in the interest rate for female and black employment creation in Brazil. We conduct a panel data fixed effects analysis for 13 states between 2012 and 2021 to estimate the effects of changes in interest rates on unemployment, separating the data by gender and race. Our results show that the real interest rate has a positive effect on the relative unemployment of black men to white men, no effect on the relative unemployment of black women to white men, and a negative effect on the relative unemployment of white women to white men. These effects are intensified in regions where the black population ratio is lower. This paper contributes to understanding the challenges to closing gender and racial gaps, particularly in developing economies. We conclude that social stratification, if not considered, can lead to misleading policies that perpetuate unequal socioeconomic outcomes.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Patricia Couto Clara Brenck
Policy Note 2021/2 | May 2021
The Impact of the Emergency Benefit on Poverty and Extreme Poverty in BrazilResearch Scholar Luiza Nassif-Pires, Luísa Cardoso, and Ana Luíza Matos de Oliveira analyze the importance of the “emergency benefit” (Auxílio Emergencial) in containing the increase in poverty and extreme poverty in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic. They find the emergency benefit mitigated the loss of income, brought the poverty rate to historically low levels, and reduced inequality: poverty gaps in terms of gender and (to a lesser degree) race narrowed in 2020. However, their simulations show that a planned reduction in transfer levels for 2021 will result in the emergency benefit providing substantially less social protection against loss of income than its more robust 2020 version.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Luiza Nassif Pires Luísa Cardoso Ana Luíza Matos de Oliveira
Public Policy Brief No. 153, 2020 | September 2020After spending over 6 percent of GDP responding to the COVID-19 crisis, Brazil has suffered among the worst per capita numbers in the world in terms of cases and deaths. In this policy brief, Luiza Nassif-Pires, Laura Carvalho, and Eduardo Rawet explore how stark inequalities along racial, regional, and class lines can help account for why the pandemic has had such a damaging impact on Brazil. Although they find that fiscal policy measures have so far neutralized the impact of the crisis with respect to income inequality, the existence of structural inequalities along racial lines in particular have resulted in an unequally shared public health burden. Broader policy changes are necessary for addressing dimensions of inequality that are rooted in structural racism.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Luiza Nassif Pires Laura Carvalho Eduardo Rawet
Working Paper No. 956 | May 2020This paper empirically models the dynamics of Brazilian government bond (BGB) yields based on monthly macroeconomic data in the context of the evolution of Brazil’s key macroeconomic variables. The results show that the current short-term interest rate has a decisive influence on BGBs’ long-term interest rates after controlling for various key macroeconomic variables, such as inflation and industrial production or economic activity. These findings support John Maynard Keynes’s claim that the central bank’s actions influence the long-term interest rate on government bonds mainly through the short-term interest rate. These findings have important policy implications for Brazil. This paper relates the findings of the estimated models to ongoing debates in fiscal and monetary policies.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Tanweer Akram Syed Al-Helal Uddin
Public Policy Brief No. 143, 2017 | February 2017
Since inheriting the Brazilian presidency five months ago, the new Temer administration has successfully ratified a constitutional amendment imposing a radical, two-decades-long public spending freeze, purportedly aimed at sparking an increase in business confidence and investment. In this policy brief, Fernando Cardim de Carvalho explains why this fiscal strategy is based not only on a flawed conception of the drivers of private-sector confidence and investment but also on a mistaken view of the roots of the current Brazilian economic crisis. The hoped-for “expansionary fiscal consolidation” is not likely to be achieved.Download:Associated Program:
Policy Note 2016/2 | April 2016
Brazil is mired in a joint economic and political crisis, and the way out is unclear. In 2015 the country experienced a steep contraction of output alongside elevated inflation, all while the fallout from a series of corruption scandals left the policymaking apparatus paralyzed. Looking ahead, implementing a policy strategy that has any hope of addressing the Brazilian economy’s multilayered problems would make serious demands on a political system that is most likely unable to bear it.
Working Paper No. 860 | February 2016
Brazil at the Mid-2010s
The Brazilian economy in 2015 was afflicted by a lethal combination of decelerating activity and accelerating inflation. Expectations for 2016 are equally or even more adverse, since the effects of rising unemployment emerge only after a lag. The domestic debate has pitted analysts who believe the crisis is due exclusively to past policy mistakes against those who believe that all was well until the government decided to implement austerity policies in 2015. A closer examination of the evidence shows that, in fact, both causes contributed to the crisis. But it also suggests that its depth has a more proximate cause in the political collapse of the federal government in 2015, which led Brazilian society to an impasse for which one cannot yet visualize the solution.