Economic Debates under Authoritarian Regimes: The Case of the Income Distribution Controversy in Brazil in the 1970s

Alexandre F. S. Andrada and Mauro Boianovsky
Publication Number: 
Publication Date: 
Monday, July 15, 2019

This paper investigates the political and economic contexts of the controversy about the causes of the significant increase of income concentration in Brazil during the 1960s. That was the most
important economic debate that took place under the military dictatorship that ran the country from 1964 to 1985. The perceived sharp increase in income inequality posed a challenge to the economic
legitimation of the military regime, which had by the early 1970s achieved high rates of economic growth accompanied by falling inflation. We discuss the reasons behind the relatively open economic debate
during a period of political repression, as well as its international dimension as reflected in the role played by institutions such as the World Bank.

University of Brasilia