Vol. 28 No. 2 (2008): Apr-Jun / 2008

Vol. 28 No. 2 (2008)

Apr-Jun / 2008
Published April 1, 2008


Inflation targeting: the conventional analysis and an alternative model the conventional analysis and an alternative model
Luiz Antonio de Oliveira Lima
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This article has two aims: the first one is to present a formal model of the monetary policy identified generally as “inflation targeting policy”, an instrument of intervention of the central bank, through the short run nominal interest rate. The second aim is to discuss and criticize the theoretical assumptions of the model specially the concepts of “natural rate of interest” and of potential product presented by the “augmented Philips curve”; and to present a more realistic model of inflation targeting which does not assume the hypotheses above, and in which inflation targeting is based on the control of real rate of interest.

JEL Classification: E00; E4; E52; E58.

Sustainable development: conceptualizations and measurement
Charles C. Mueller
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The paper builds up from a review of some expected, but other quite surprising results regarding country estimates for the year 2000 of genuine saving, a sustainability indicator developed by a World Bank research team. We examine this indicator, founded on neoclassical welfare theory, and discuss one of its major problems. Theoretical developments from ecological economics are then considered, together with insights from Georgescu-Roegen’s approach to the production process, in search for an alternative approach. A model with potentially fruitful contributions in this direction is reviewed; it points the course efforts could take enable sustainability evaluations based on a more realistic set of interrelated monetary and biophysical indicators.

JEL Classification: Q32; Q56; Q57.

South America in movement
Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

This paper discusses the prospects for the integration of South America, stressing that there are two competing projects. One the one hand, we have the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), as proposed by Washington, or bilateral free trade agreements with the United States in the FTAA format. On the other hand, we have Mercosur, recently expanded by the accession of Venezuela. Washington’s still very significant but declining influence in South America, relations between Argentina and Brazil, Venezuela’s entry into Mercosur, and the role of smaller countries are successively examined.

JEL Classification: F15; P16.

TINA, AIDS, and the underdevelopment problem in Africa
Akinpelu Olanrewaju Olutayo, Molatokunbo Abiola Oluwaseun Olutayo, Ayokunle Olumuyiwa Omobowale
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The assumption that ‘There Is No Alternative’ (TINA) to capitalism as practiced in the United States of America and Western Europe has been the bane of aids effectiveness in assisting to solve the underdevelopment problem in Africa. This paper attempts to show that except there is a fundamental reorientation in the conceptualization of capitalism-free market and democracy-the underdevelopment problem would only be further complicated with aids.

JEL Classification: F02.

The recent behavior of the Brazilian direct investment abroad in perspective
Daniela Corrêa, Gilberto Tadeu Lima
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

 This paper analyzes the recent behavior of the Brazilian direct investment abroad, as captured by an annual census conducted by the Central Bank of Brazil since 2001, by putting it in a broader perspective that includes international official data sources and early sample studies. Though the Central Bank has not been making available more disaggregated data than those analyzed here, it is intended to contribute to a better grasping of the perspectives of competitive internationalization of local firms, which is desirable not only as far as the external accounts are concerned, but also from the viewpoint of the technological capabilities of the local firms.

JEL Classification: L10; L20; F23.

Child labor and the parents’ status of employment
Maria Cristina Cacciamali, Fábio Tatei
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The objective of this paper is to verify the hypothesis of the effect of the status of employment of the head of the family on the occurrence of child labor, as well as to analyze other characteristics which can influence such behavior. A probit model was used to realize the statistical tests. The results ratify the hypothesis proposed that the families whose head works as an independent worker show higher probability for the occurrence of child labor than those whose head works as a formal salaried worker. Among other results, it must be highlighted, making simulations, that increasing parents’ schooling is more efficient than augmenting income to reduce the use of child labor. These results endorse the proposition that the status of employment should be used, complementing the criteria of income per capita, to families in the cash transfers programmes or others to eradicate child labor.

JEL Classification: J13; J22; J44.

From the Miracle to the Lost Decade intersectoral transfers and external credit in the Brazilian economy
Nicolas Grinberg
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The present paper examines the Brazilian experience from the ‘Economic Miracle’ to the ‘Lost Decade’. Its aim is to advance an alternative measurement of the flows of extraordinary wealth (i.e. ground-rent and net external credit) available for appropriation in the Brazilian economy and to asses their relevance in sustaining the process of accumulation of industrial capital. That is done in order to provide further and more accurate evidence to the claim that the evolution of the Brazilian process of capital accumulation has been extremely dependent on the evolution of those masses of extraordinary wealth.

JEL Classification: H60; 011; 013; 054; Q19; N16.

New pension programs in Latin America lessons from the Argentinean experience
Sidney Jard da Silva
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

 This work analyzes the political constraints of pension reform in Argentina. The first part presents a brief description of the development of pension programs in Latin America. Additionally, it also discusses the pension system crisis and the main proposals in order to overcome this crisis. The second part examines the peculiarities of the Argentine pension reform, with specific attention on economic imperatives and political constraints which have shaped the pension reform project of Menem´s Government (1989-1999). The article demonstrates that there are a large gap between the new system promises and its outcomes.

JEL Classification: H55.

Capital Flows, External Fragility and Currency Regimes: a theoretical review
Luciano Ferreira Gabriel, José Luís da Costa Oreiro
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy

The major integration and deregulation of the international financial markets increased the degree of interdependence and risk of incompatibility between the financial and monetary policy adopted by different countries. The consequences of these facts are the financial instability and the currency crisis. In this article we develop arguments advocating that independent of the currency regime adopted the national policy makers should take into account, between other factors, the major capital mobility and the integrations of markets. One of the corollaries of our analyses is that countries should pursue policies that reduces the degree of short-term capital volatile by the adoption of capital controls or though measures of prudential supervision.

JEL Classification: E44; F31; F32; F36.