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Economic Crisis and State Reform in Brazil: Toward a New Interpretation of Latin America

Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira
ISBN: 978-1-55587-532-9
1996/258 pages/LC: 94-28296

"Provides an insightful analytical framework for assessing the origin of Brazil s economic and political crisis and also outlines an alternative set of strategies.... outlining a provocative analytical framework for long-term development strategies."—Latin American Reserach Review

"This important book should be part of any Latin America collection....written in a style that will not intimidate noneconomists. Highly recommended for all libraries."—Choice


Choice Outstanding Academic Book!

This is a book about the economic crisis that took hold of Brazil and the rest of Latin America in the 1980s, its political consequences, and the economic reforms that were begun in the mid-'80s, but that remain incomplete a decade later.

From his vantage point as both an academic economist and a political insider, Bresser Pereira explains Brazil's—and more generally, Latin America's—economic problems in terms of a crisis of the state. Finding the paradigms of structuralism and dependency no longer useful in the face of the issues of the 1980s and '90s, and rejecting neoliberalism as a solution, his crisis-of-the-state approach seeks a new synthesis, advocating a pragmatic, social democratic strategy for reform.

Fiscal adjustment and structural reforms, argues Bresser, should not be seen as attempts to minimize state intervention, but instead as reforms of the state, with the ultimate goal of rebuild- ing it.


Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira is Brazil's minister of federal administration and state reform and is professor of economics at the Get£lio Vargas Foundation (Brazil). Founding editor of the Revista de Economica Politica, he has published widely (in both Portuguese and English) in the areas of political economy, development economics, and inflation theory. After Brazil's democratization, he occupied several government positions: from 1983 to 1987 he was chairman of the State Bank of Sao Paulo, chief of staff of the Government of Sao Paulo, secretary of science and technology of Sao Paulo, and in 1987, finance minister of Brazil. He has been a member of Brazil's Social Democratic Party since its founding in 1988.


  • Introduction.
  • Interpretations and Strategies.
  • The Crisis of the State Approach.
  • The Cycles of the State.
  • Crisis and Change.
  • Perverse Macroeconomics.
  • The Debt Crisis.
  • Hyperinflation.
  • Crisis and Renewal in the Left.
  • Political Obstacles to Economic Reform.
  • The Collor Administration: Recurrent Political Crises.
  • The Citizenship Contradiction.
  • Economic Reforms in Abnormal Times.
  • A Dramatic Attack on Inflation.
  • Attempts to Stabilize.
  • Successful Reforms.
  • The International Perspective.
  • Toward a New Political Pact.