This chapter investigates the political and economic contexts of the controversy about the causes of the increase of income concentration in Brazil during the 1960s. That was the most important economic debate that took place under the military dictatorship that ran the country from 1964 to 1985. The perceived sharp increase in income inequality posed a challenge to the economic legitimation of the military regime, which had by the early 1970s achieved high rates of economic growth. This chapter discusses the apparent paradox of relatively open economic debate during a period of political repression, as well as its international dimension as reflected in the role played by institutions such as the World Bank.
We thank Edmar Bacha, Antonio Delfim Netto, Carlos Geraldo Langoni, Albert Fishlow, Rodolfo Hoffmann, and Pedro Malan for information provided. We benefitted from comments by two anonymous referees, Joaquim Andrade, Pedro Souza, Bruna Ingrao, Wagner Arienti, Celia Kerstenetzky, Geoff Harcourt, André Calixtre, Carlos Ramos, Marcelo Medeiros, Rogério Arthmar, João Antonio Paula, Hugo Gama, Hans-Michael Trautwein, Clara Mattei, and (other) participants at the HES 2019 conference (New York, June 20–23) and at a seminar at Universidade de Brasilia (September 3, 2019). Mauro Boianovsky gratefully acknowledges support from CNPq.
Andrada, A.F.S. and Boianovsky, M. (2020), "The Political Economy of the Income Distribution Controversy in 1970s Brazil: Debating Models and Data Under Military Rule", Fiorito, L., Scheall, S. and Suprinyak, C.E. (Ed.) Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Economists and Authoritarian Regimes in the 20th Century (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 38B), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 75-94. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-41542020000038B005Download as .RIS
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