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 13: The Regional Impact of Federal Government Programs in Brazil: The Case of Rio de Janeiro

Thomas J. Trebat and Nicholas M. Trebat

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


Thomas J. Trebat and Nicholas M. Trebat 13.1 INTRODUCTION Regional studies have a very long tradition in Brazil, a country of continental dimensions (Baer, 2008, esp. pp. 243–276). Many studies have focused on the notorious regional inequalities and, therefore, on the Northeast region and the yawning income and welfare gaps between the Northeast and the more developed areas of the Southeast. It is right that academic and policy attention focuses on the Northeast, given that region’s relative backwardness and the enormous proportion of Brazil’s poor that it holds. The aim of this study is to review our knowledge of the regional impact of federal government policies in a relatively more developed region of Brazil which also happens to contain a large number of poor and extremely poor citizens. The case chosen is that of Rio de Janeiro; the iconic city itself, in particular, and also the surrounding state which has taken the same name. What makes this case study of Rio de Janeiro so interesting and potentially instructive in terms of the impact of federal policies on regions? In large part, the justification comes from the important role that the federal government, broadly understood to encompass state-owned enterprises, has played in Rio and continues to play. We believe that examination of the case of Rio de Janeiro can show that the best regional policy for the federal government to pursue might not be a regional policy at all, but rather better coordination between the policies of the federal, state...

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