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date: 24 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

We can divide the history of Brazilian state-owned enterprise (SOEs) into two periods. In the first (1930s to late 1970s), SOEs were a policy instrument in state-led industrialization. They produced manufactured goods, supplied cheap inputs to private manufacturing firms, and financed those companies with long-term, subsidized loans. In the second period (1980s to the early 2000s), Brazil privatized several of its main SOEs. Privatization was mainly seen as an answer to macroeconomic problems and did not result from a national ideological about-face; indeed, most Brazilians continued to trust the state to lead development. Thus, the fall of SOEs was relative. Large companies such as Petrobrás and Eletrobrás continue in state hands. Moreover, the Lula and Rousseff administrations created several SOEs and strengthened others. And the state developed new channels to influence private investment, through a network of equity participations in private companies, held by BNDES and SOE pension funds.

Keywords: state-owned enterprise, Brazilian history, state-led industrialization, privatization, BNDES

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