Tracy M. Gordon
The United States is considered a highly decentralized country. More recently, American federalism has been in a state of flux. At the same time, decentralization has been on the rise internationally. Taken together, experiences in the United States and internationally point to some inherent tensions in federalism. This article argues that such concerns have prevented the adoption of an enduring state fiscal equalization program in the United States. Nevertheless, recent federal stimulus legislation may point to some ways forward. The article reviews the theory of fiscal federalism and its implications for intergovernmental grant programs. It also examines the evolution of intergovernmental transfers in the U.S. federalist system. Following this, the article evaluates design issues for any state fiscal equalization program. Finally, it suggests that there may be a role for ensuring states and localities against financial disaster and suggests future directions.
M. Freire, S. Lall, and D. Leipziger
This chapter examines Africa’s urbanization and the challenges and opportunities it presents, with emphasis on what it will take to make African cities efficient, sustainable, and inclusive. Using economic geography as an organizing framework, it proposes policies that not only support agglomeration benefits but also manage congestion costs. The discussion begins by sketching key elements of African urbanization (heterogeneity, income levels, capital investment, etc.) followed by a review of recent literature on urban growth models and how they apply to Africa’s urbanization process. It then considers what should be done to encourage efficient and inclusive African cities, while taking into account the diversity of countries as well as the continent’s geographical and social division.
Bart Minten PhD, Thomas Reardon, and Seneshaw Tamru
Ethiopia’s agricultural markets are quickly evolving, driven by major contextual changes including high population growth, rapid urbanization, major infrastructure investments, income growth, diet change, and policy reform. Agricultural supply chains are rapidly growing, and they are an increasing source of employment in the country. Agricultural markets are found to be better integrated and marketing margins and seasonal price amplitudes to have become smaller over time, but we also see an increase in prices of nutritious high-value foods, and this is in contrast to staple cereal prices. Although food imports and the number of food aid beneficiaries have not reduced over time, Ethiopia remained a net agricultural exporter, in value terms, for all but one year in the decade before this study, illustrating at the national level the relatively good performance of the agricultural sector.
Carlos José Caetano Bacha
This chapter analyzes the evolution of agriculture in Brazil from the early sixteenth century until the second decade of the twenty-first century. It focuses on seven domestic and external conditioning factors that have stimulated and supported the sector’s expansion in Brazil. These factors and the way that they have impacted agricultural expansion and will continue to drive Brazil’s agricultural sector for at least the next two decades. Given the availability of fallow arable land, at current productivity levels, this idle area could be used to double crop production. The transference of road operation to the regulated private sector will lead to improved road surfaces and maintenance, thereby facilitating the transportation of agricultural production to exporting ports. The reduction of agricultural sector subsidies and the increased forest conservation efforts by the European Union should improve Brazilian agriculture’s competitive position in many foreign markets currently served by EU farmers. The increasing share of Brazil’s agricultural production sold in world markets makes the country’s agricultural sector more vulnerable than ever to uncontrollable outside forces. World economic growth, especially that of China and the European countries, is a necessity if the Brazilian agricultural sector is to continue expanding and improving efficiencies. Most Brazilian agricultural inputs continue to be produced by foreign companies or their Brazilian subsidiaries. These overseas entities are a very strong force in the domestic inputs market and represent another uncontrollable factor that affects local farmers’ earnings and Brazil’s balance of trade.
Stefan Dercon and Douglas Gollin
This chapter discusses the role agriculture has played in growth and economic transformation in Ethiopia since the 1990s. Ethiopia’s dominant development strategy narrative since the 1990s has been Agricultural Development-Industrialization (ADLI), which takes its inspiration from dual-economy models of linkages between sectors. We use the theoretical perspectives of these models and of ADLI to discuss progress in growth and poverty in this period. We find that ADLI offered a plausible and seemingly successful strategy for Ethiopia at an earlier stage of its growth and transformation, but it has serious limitations. In more recent years there appears to have been more emphasis on urban and industrial growth and this may also have the potential to boost value added and labour productivity in agriculture—reversing the sectoral dynamics of the ADLI approach. Looking forward, we posit that to make further progress in agriculture, there is a need to acknowledge and facilitate the transmission of urban and international demand, thereby encouraging higher-value crops and higher value addition.
This chapter examines the role that public policy initiatives—specifically anti-poverty transfers—have played in the reduction of poverty and inequality in Brazil. A number of anti-poverty initiatives are considered in turn, and not just the widely known Bolsa Familia conditional cash transfer program. The analysis establishes that such transfers—including conditional cash transfers—have proved surprisingly effective, even helping to tackle long-standing income inequality. It is recognized that explicit anti-poverty initiatives were not the only drivers of the reduced incidence of poverty and inequality: factors such as growth and improved access to labor markets also played a role. However, progress is now threatened by the recent economic and political crisis.
Eduardo Pontual Ribeiro, Camila Pires-Alves, and Luis Carlos D. Prado
This chapter presents and analyzes Brazil’s competition policy on merger control and the abuse of market power. Its role as an important Brazilian public policy derives from a combination of three factors: historical evolution, legal framework, and institution building. The chapter provides an analysis of the evolution of its main agency, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica, CADE), while focusing on the control of cartels and mergers. The chapter further discusses institution building over the years surrounding the practice of competition law. Current practice and challenges in this are also discussed in the chapter.
Edwin S. Mills
This chapter examines the functions of and prospects for large metropolitan areas (MAs) in the United States. It argues that the high cost of transporting people and goods is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for MAs. Economies of scale and scope and the technical ability to substitute structures for land provide cost advantages to firms located in MAs. The factors that limit the sizes of the largest MAs include the size and geography of the country, the limited demand for commodities and services produced in the MA, congestion and pollution, and social issues such as crime, homelessness, poverty, illegitimacy, racial tensions, and other forms of alienation that increase with MA size. Because of these limiting factors, the largest US MAs are expected to grow at slower rates than the US population in coming decades, whereas suburbs will continue to experience rapid growth.
Rural Ethiopians who lack access to a few basic (non-food) wage goods are defined as ‘most deprived’. Like many other extremely vulnerable Africans, they derive little benefit from donor and government policies claiming to reduce poverty. They may continue to be ignored if underfunded official statistical agencies publish reports that do not accurately reflect their experience, or if the impact of policy interventions on the bottom 10 per cent can be obscured by fashionably complex indices of poverty. A case is made here for more rigorous statistical monitoring of rural real wages; and for prioritizing investments that improve the employment prospects of women dependent on agricultural wage labour. It is argued that a low-cost Simple Deprivation Index can identify poorly educated agricultural wage labourers as members of the ‘most deprived’ households. These households also contain children who are at risk from the cumulative consequences of inadequate nutrition and schooling.
Assessing State-Level Science and Technology Policies: North Carolina’s Experience with SBIR State Matching Grants
John Hardin, Lukas Brun, and Lauren Lanahan
State government R&D expenditures play a critical role in supporting innovation in the United States. This chapter discusses the growing role of US state governments in supporting R&D activity, paying particular attention to a small business innovation program in North Carolina designed to complement the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The chapter first provides an overview of the literature on state science and technology policies that encourage innovation, competitiveness, and economic development at the state level. It then reviews complementary federal and state government policies aiming to improve the success rate of the SBIR program, with particular attention to the One North Carolina Small Business Program. It discusses the objectives of the state policy and provides results of a program assessment, which indicate that the state matching program meets the objectives of the policy and provides positive spillover effects to North Carolina’s economy.
Geraldo B. Martha Jr. and Eliseu Alves
Brazilian agriculture reinvented itself by targeting a science-based approach. Embrapa, the research arm of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, is recognized as key in this process. A set of characteristics—public corporation model; scale of operation at national level; spatial decentralization; specialized research units; strong focus in human capital; a vision of an agriculture based on science and technology—explains Embrapa’s strength and achievements. Looking ahead, agricultural production needs to increase at least at the same pace of demand. Otherwise, prices will increase, and the poor will suffer the greatest impact. One of the greatest barriers to ensure modern technology will be more broadly and effectively adopted is market imperfection, which alters relative prices and the returns to investment in technologies. Reducing market imperfections is a necessary condition for expanding production in a more inclusive way, and to increase the effectiveness of policies targeting technology adoption by farmers.
This chapter examines the development of Brazil’s inward-oriented industrialization strategy, commonly termed “import-substitution industrialization” (ISI). Originating in the 1930s under the corporatist administration of Getúlio Vargas, by the 1960s the strategy had succeeded in transforming the structure of the Brazilian economy, turning it into a major industrial powerhouse. Successful though the strategy initially was in promoting growth and structural change, it nevertheless suffered from inherent flaws, notably its heavy reliance on imported inputs and a failure to produce and export efficient industrial sector. This chapter considers the achievements and failings of ISI in some detail and also discusses the results of attempts to reintroduce the strategy on a limited scale in the first decade of the 2000s.
Brazil’s Macroeconomic Policy Institutions, Quasi-Stagnation, and the Interest Rate–Exchange Rate Trap
Luiz Carlos Bresser-Perreira
This chapter examines the evolution of macroeconomic policy and institutions over the long term and the ways in which they have influenced the growth path of the Brazilian economy. It establishes that a critical influence on the disappointing growth performance realized was a failure to neutralize the effects of exchange rate induced Dutch Disease. In addition to this, Brazil’s economic dynamism has been inhibited by the pursuit of a growth with current account deficits (“foreign savings”) policy; an exchange rate anchor policy to control inflation; and a high level of interest rates. Collectively, these factors have reduced the productivity and competitiveness of Brazil’s manufacturing industry. In addition, the interest-rate level has remained very high since the Real Plan and, from the late 1970s the investment capacity of the Brazilian state drastically decreased.
Alexandre Rands Barros
The Brazilian Northeast is a large poor region, which was the first to be colonized in Brazil. The region experienced some dynamism as a result of its early role as a centre of the agricultural export economy. However, historical and political circumstances resulted in a society in which there was a successive failure to build up the level of human capital level in the region. In particular, low access to political power of disadvantaged social groups prevented the implementation of an inclusive educational policy. This generated low per capita GDP and productivity growth, when compared to the national average. The prospects that some convergence with the national average will occur are only partial and restricted.
Peri da Silva
This chapter investigates the current as well as the potential degree of cooperation among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economies. It shows that the increasing degree of economic interdependency among these economies is not a result of cooperative measures implemented by this group of nations. Moreover, the chapter suggests that the potential degree of cooperation among the BRICs is limited due to the presence of several economic asymmetries among these countries. The chapter concludes that the Brazilian diplomatic efforts to use the BRICs as a platform to pursue the national interests of Brazil has not yet generated concrete results.
Luiz Ricardo Cavalcante
This chapter discusses the role played by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) based upon a survey of its costs and benefits reported in the literature. It provides some theoretical background for the creation and the existence of development banks, using this background to support a brief discussion about the long-term context that marked the bank’s evolution as well as the contemporary issues concerning its role in the Brazilian economy. The author argues that a national development bank such as the BNDES contributes to increasing capital formation, as it provides credit at more favorable conditions to selected projects. However, the author also argues that the presence of the BNDES loans forces the Central Bank to raise interest rates to a level that otherwise would be lower.
Joseph L. Love
This chapter examines the evolution of the structuralist school of economic thought in the Brazilian context. The intellectual roots of structuralism are analyzed, as is the influence this set of ideas has had on economic policy formulation in Brazil. Prominent structuralists such as Celso Furtado and Raul Prebisch influenced the governments of Getúlio Vargas and Juscelino Kubitschek, while Furtado himself played a key role in establishing the national development bank (BNDES) and the Northeast development agency, SUDENE. Furtado “historicized” CEPAL structuralism and showed how losses in the coffee sector were spread across the whole economy in the 1930s. He furthermore developed a model of internal colonialism and arguably was the first dependency theorist. The crisis of structuralism in the mid-1960s ultimately resulted in neostructuralism in 1990, a reformed version of the doctrine that emphasized the export market, technological change, and continual “learning by doing.”
Donald V. Coes
This chapter reviews some of the major trends in Brazilian trade and international economic policy, including its reaction to international commodity market and capital market shocks in recent decades and the politically driven emphasis on preferential trade. It also examines the question of how “open” the Brazilian economy is, even after some moves toward greater linkages to world markets. The chapter then considers some of the major anti-globalization trends in Brazil’s principal economic partners, and attempts to identify some of their causes. It argues that Brazil’s links to other economies through capital and labor markets are at least as important as are its commodity trade links. Trends in these markets may help explain some of the anti-globalization attitudes it may face in the future. With the half-century consensus in support of internationally open trade, capital, and labor markets seemingly under siege, the way ahead for Brazil is far from clear.
Carlos Oya PhD
This chapter provides an overview of the factors and dynamics involved in the creation and formation of an industrial workforce in an agrarian-based economy. The main argument is that the process of building an industrial working class is uneven, protracted, and requires interventions and important economic and social shifts over long periods of time. Historical lessons of early and late industrializers are highly relevant for contemporary Ethiopia as it seems that history does repeat itself in some ways. The chapter focuses on a number of structural obstacles to the process of building an industrial workforce, particularly: addressing socio-cultural barriers and the problem of ‘work cultures’ and work ethic; sourcing workers, managing and especially housing migrant labour; scarcity of employable skills (including soft skills); mismatch in expectations between employers and workers, largely related to wage-setting mechanisms, non-wage conditions, and labour productivity.
Jenna Golan, Derek Headey PhD, Kalle Hirvonen, and John Hoddinott
In the 1980s and 1990s Ethiopia was synonymous with famine and had one of the highest rates of chronic child under-nutrition in the world. From around the turn of the millennium, however, anthropometric measures of nutrition have improved substantially. Among children 0–5 years, the prevalence of stunting—a measure of chronic under-nutrition—fell from 58 per cent in 2000 to 38 per cent in 2016. In this chapter, we carefully document how stunting rates have changed by gender, and across space and wealth strata. We then use insights from the nutrition literature to understand the possible underlying drivers of this rapid reduction in stunting prevalence. This analysis suggests that the fall in stunting over this period was driven by improvements in exclusive breastfeeding practices. Meanwhile, poor maternal health during pregnancy, and poor dietary diversity during complementary feeding remain significant risk factors for stunting.