Vol. 18 No. 1 (1998): Jan-Mar / 1998

Vol. 18 No. 1 (1998)

Jan-Mar / 1998
Published January 1, 1998


The new development orthodoxy: a critique of the debate around the World Bank’s vision and elements for an alternative neo-Schumpeterian approach
Carlos Augusto Grabois Gadelha
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The purpose of this paper is to criticize the debate about the new hegemonic
view of the development process as proposed by the World Bank. First, it presents the theoretical
insufficiency of the debate centered upon the concept of market failures, pointing
that the neoclassical approach dominates its terms. Second, some theoretical elements of an
alternative neo-Schumpeterian view are presented which breaks radically with the neoclassical
foundations, embodying history, institutions and technological change in the analysis
of the development process, independently of either optimum or market failures concepts.

JEL Classification: B52; O31; O14.

External pressure and commercial opening in Brazil
Marianne Nassuno
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article discusses the influence of external pressure on the Brazilian trade liberalization
process. The conditions under which external pressure is defined are based on the
approach of international politics authors known as “realists” and related to the interests
of the States, reliance on specific pressure instruments and vulnerability to pressure. Events
such as the decline of the American hegemony, the rise of newly industrialized countries,
the globalization of the international economy and the debt crisis, which led to an increase
in international conflict during the l980’s are analysed, as well as domestic factors like the
economic vulnerability of Brazil.

JEL Classification: F60; F54.

The U.S. economy: are analysts missing the point?
João Marcus M. Nunes
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The conventional view on the U.S. economy is that economic growth above
“potential” is bad for bonds since it spells inflation. The purpose of this note is to show that
following the Volker deflation (l980-82), the policy regime changed, and greater economic
stability obtained.

JEL Classification: E43; E44; G10.

Currency and culture: elements for an institutional approach to money
Moacir dos Anjos Jr.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article aims at demonstrating the institutional character of money and at
examining the necessary conditions to preserve it as a social operator. Money is a social institution
because it is central to the maintenance of social practices necessary for the creation
of productive wealth and therefore for the material reproduction of modem capitalist economies.
Moreover, as the productive circuit is one of the spheres of those economies in which
private “passions” and social “interests” can be reconciled, money is presented as an element
of social cohesion. It is argued, however, that only if trust in the maintenance of the “unity
of the functions of money” endures can money be preserved as a social institution. Trust, in
sum, is shown to emerge from a cognitive process embedded in specific cultural patterns,
whereby information is generated, passed on and reinforced, gradually engendering habits
and conventions to be followed by economic agents.

JEL Classification: E41; E42; B52.

Currency, financing, financial system and uneven regional development trajectories: the post-Keynesian perspective
Adriana M. Amado
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The paper examines the roles that money and the financial system play at the
regional level. We have our analysis based on post-Keynesian monetary theory and, most
precisely, on the models developed by Dow. These models demonstrate a self-perpetuating
process that tends to amplify initial inequalities at the regional level. The financial behavior
of agents tends to generate a process of banking concentration which reinforces regional
real disparities.

JEL: Classification: G28; G21; E12; R19.

The recent evolution of the per capita income of the Brazilian states
Afonso Henriques Borges Ferreira
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The purpose of this paper is to update the analysis of the process of convergence
of state per capita incomes in Brazil, using new data for the period 1986-1995. Theil’s L and
T indexes are used to show that the process of convergence, observed between 1970 and
1985 and reported in previous work, has come to a halt, since 1987. Some possible explanations
for this result are also explored.

JEL Classification: R11; O40.

Unemployment and its diagnosis today in Brazil
Claudio Salvadori Dedecca
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

In the 1990’s, the end of the growth of the employment has been featured of
several forms by the inquiries on employment and unemployment in the Brazilian metropolitan
areas. While the Pesquisa Mensal de Emprego (PME-IBGE) presents a low level
of unemployment, the Pesquisa de Emprego e Desemprego (PED-Seade/Dieese) shows the
manifestation more intense of the phenomenon. The indicators produced by these inquiries
have supported different diagnostics on the problem of employment in the nation. This paper
analyzes as the indicators produced by these inquires support the specifics diagnostics on
the problems of employment and as they subsidize different proposals of employment policy.

JEL Classification: J60; E24.

Turnover and quality of employment in Brazil
Gustavo Gonzaga
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

Several recent studies have shown that the main Brazilian market problem seems
to be its low job quality level rather than lack of job creation. This article gathers new
evidences on this topic, mostly on labor turnover. In fact, Brazil displays the highest labor
turnover in the world for comparable measures. The paper also studies how a high labor
turnover can partially explain the low quality of jobs observed in Brazil. The theoretical
argument is that labor productivity depends essentially on the level of human capital, either
general – through basic education – or specific – through on-the-job training. Since a high
labor turnover is a disincentive for training investment, it lowers specific human capital and,
therefore, labor productivity. Finally, some labor market legislation changes are proposed
aiming at reducing labor turnover and increasing labor quality.

JEL Classification: J63; J24.

Evolution and characteristics of employment in the banking sector
Hugo E. A. da Gama Cerqueira, Wilson A. Costa de Amorim
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article analyses the effects of recent transformations in the Brazilian banking
system on the level and composition of employment in this sector. We indicate the measures
taken by banks in order to adjust to low levels of inflation and its consequences over
the level of employment, the turnover, and the spatial distribution of personnel. We also
discuss the changes in the employees’ profile associated with the intensification of automation
and changes in the management of the labor process.

JEL Classification: J23; K01.

Wage differentials by gender and color: a comparison between Brazilian metropolitan regions
Claudia Helena Cavalieri, Reynaldo Fernandes
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The study analyses the wage differences behavior considering gender and race
in the Brazilian metropolitan areas. Based on a sample from PNAD (1989) were empirically
examined the pattern of the wage differences in the metropolitan areas in general and afterwards
was made a regional comparison. Restressing previous researches, this paper reveals
that, in average, either the men wages are higher than the women as well as those received
by white people are superior than the blacks. Even after the realization a series of controls,
such as: age, scholarship, place of living and race (gender). The gender differences revealed
to be more homogeneous among the regions rather than the race differences.

JEL Classification: J31; J71.

Work process and digital time
Henri Acselrad
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The paper presents a critical analysis of current conceptual framework applied
to identify technical knowledge content of industrial jobs. It points to the obsolescence of
the notion of “task” traditionally used to describe workplaces and to control labor productivity.
Based on empirical research on technological changes in control process of petrochemical,
steel and pulp and paper companies, the author suggests that a new conception
of time – a “digital” and qualitative type of time – replaces the traditional quantitative time
through which taylorism established its control techniques.

JEL Classification: J22; J21; J20.

Determining factors of relative wages: an empirical study with primary data for the metropolitan region of Recife
Alexandre Rands Barros, Maurício Rands Barros
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper forwards some hypotheses on wage determination and relies on a survey with 210 questionnaires applied to workers in Recife to test them empirically. The major conclusions are: (i) Human capital is an important factor determining real wages and the domestic environment is crucial for its accumulation; (ii) workers bargaining strength, as measured by the union model, as well as size and ownership of the company, are also relevant factors determining the real wages; (iii) unions affiliation to Central Única dos Trabalhadores raises wages; (iv) age is a relevant variable to determine wages, but only in the set which includes state owned enterprises; (v) the number of dependents is also relevant to determine relative wages; and (vi) wages for women are lower than for men.

JEL Classification: J3; J24.