The Regional Impact of National Policies

The Regional Impact of National Policies

The Case of Brazil

Edited by Werner Baer

Brazil is a country of continental proportions whose gross domestic product is unevenly distributed among its various regions. The impact of general domestic economic policies has often been perceived as not being regionally neutral, but as reinforcing the geographic concentration of economic activities. This detailed book examines the regional impact of such general policies as: industrialization, agricultural modernization, privatization, stabilization, science and technology, labor, and foreign direct investment.

Chapter 2: The Regional Impacts of Juscelino Kubitschek’s Targets Program

André Villela

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


André Villela1 2.1 INTRODUCTION The Targets Program, launched in 1956 by President Juscelino Kubitschek, stands as a landmark in Brazilian history. The program served as a decisive instrument in the advancement of the import-substituting industrialization process, and ultimately would lead to important changes in the country’s productive landscape. Literature dealing with the program is proportional to its importance in the economic history of modern Brazil.2 Nevertheless, most of these contributions focus on its political-ideological, macroeconomic or microeconomic aspects, and very little attention is given to its regional impact.3 By the same token, work on the regional question in Brazil, while often analyzing the impacts of the Targets Program, does so from a long-term perspective in which the second half of the 1950s appears as one among several important subperiods. This chapter seeks to assess the regional impacts of the Targets Program. It differs from previous work on at least two counts: 1. It assesses the extent to which the regional dimension was present not only in the program itself, but also in several earlier documents leading up to it. It focuses mainly on the Targets Program during the period 1956 to 1961, but also examines the broader period from 1950 to 1970. 2. Analysis is based mostly on data gathered from secondary literature, although official documents of the program itself, often overlooked by previous work, have also provided invaluable information. 4 BAER PRINT (M2899).indd 4 02/05/2012 16:31 The regional impacts of Juscelino Kubitschek’s Targets Program 5 2.2 THE...

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