- The Oxford Handbook of the Brazilian Economy
- The Colonial Economy
- The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
- Brazilian Structuralism
- Brazil’s Import-Substitution Industrialization
- Experiences of Inflation and Stabilization, 1960–1990
- Leviathan Captured Neoliberalism as Solution and Problem in Brazil
- Growth Volatility and Economic Growth in Brazil
- The Brazilian Development Bank
- The Evolution of Brazil’s Banking System
- Brazil’s Macroeconomic Policy Institutions, Quasi-Stagnation, and the Interest Rate–Exchange Rate Trap
- Evolution and Sectoral Competitiveness of the Brazilian Manufacturing Industry
- The Agricultural Sector
- Traditional Agriculture and Land Distribution in Brazil
- Brazil’s Agricultural Modernization and Embrapa
- Manufacturing, Services, and the Productivity Gap
- Energy in Brazil: Past and Future
- Trade Policy from the 1930s to the Present
- Regional Disparities
- Brazil’s Northeast
- Changes in Income Distribution in Brazil
- The Development of Brazilian Education: A Tale of Lost Opportunities?
- Anti-Poverty Transfers and Poverty Reduction
- South-South Cooperation for Social Development: Brazil and Africa Examined
- Labor Market Development in Brazil: Formalization at Last?
- Environmental Issues
- The Economics of Health in Brazil
- Brazil, the BRICS, and the Changing Landscape of Global Economic Governance
- Brazilian Trade and International Economic Prospects in an Anti-Globalization Era
- The Evolution of Foreign Direct Investment in Brazil
- Multinational Corporations from Brazil
- The Rise and Fall of State Enterprises
- Antitrust and Competition Policy in Brazil
- Corruption Scandals, the Evolution of Anti-Corruption Institutions, and Their Impact on Brazil’s Economy
Abstract and Keywords
The chapter deals with characteristics of the Brazilian colonial period (from 1500 to independence from Portugal in 1822) that have exercised a significant influence on later developments. Three aspects of the institutional framework of Portuguese colonization are emphasized: the relations between the colonial government and the private sector; the pattern of access to land by colonists; and the widespread use of slave labor. It is argued that colonial policies were detrimental to private initiative, hampering access to productivity gains from industrialization in the eighteenth century. Distribution of land, in large tracts, to privileged individuals was instrumental in establishing a pattern of inequality in wealth, power, and political influence; the landless majority helped to bring about an elastic supply of labor in later periods. Slavery, which dominated the labor market from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth, was an element of the inequality in income distribution that persists to the present.
Flávio Rabelo Versiani, Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Brasília
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