Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-2008


This paper does not aim to dispute that Brazil would benefit from reforms in any or all of these areas. Rather, the paper offers a skeptical perspective on reform menus and proposes an alternative explanation for the faster growth of Brazil’s peers India and China2. The paper begins by introducing (section 1) the idea of the BRICs countries, to establish the basis for comparisons of most similar cases. It then surveys the results of a generation of Washington Consensus era growth (section 2). Although there is a considerable amount of divergence over what causes growth, it seems that something approaching a consensus holds that universally applicable holistic reform programs have been largely discredited by economic performance in developing countries over the last two decades. Section 3 argues that post-Keynesian approaches, which focus on the maintenance of monetary and fiscal policy autonomy, offer a compelling explanation for the difference in growth results of Brazil, India, and China. That is, the inflation targeting system in Brazil has failed to adequately control inflation and contributed to slow start-stop growth while the more managed approaches favored by China and India have done the reverse.

Published Citation

Ferrari Filho, Fernando, and Tony Spanakos. "Why Brazil Has Not Grown: A Comparative Analysis of Brazilian, Indian, and Chinese Economic Management." (2008).