On the economics of development: A view from Latin America


  • Edmar Bacha Casa das Garças Institute of Economic Policy Studies, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.




Brazil, debt crises, development economics, high inflation, income distribution, Latin America


This paper surveys my research on development economics, undertaken in the context of the historical experiences of Brazil and Latin America. The research consists of academic papers, essays, economic fables, and reflections on my experiences in policy making. It spans different fields, including income distribution, industrial policies, dollar constraints and debt crises, commodity booms and coffee valorization, high inflation and stabilization policies, and Brazil’s growth record.

JEL codes: F34, J24, N16, O11, O41, O54

Keywords: Brazil, debt crises, development economics, high inflation, income distribution, Latin America

Author Biography

Edmar Bacha, Casa das Garças Institute of Economic Policy Studies, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Founding Partner and Director of the Casa das Garças Institute of Economic Policy Studies, a think-tank in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Ahluwalia M. and Chenery H. (1974), Appendix to Chapter 2 in Chenery H. et al., Redistribution with Growth (pp. 50-51), New York: Oxford University Press.

Arida P. (1984), “Neutralizar a inflação: uma ideia promissora”, Economia em Perspectiva, São Paulo: Conselho Regional de Economistas, September. Reproduced in Rego J.M. (ed.), (1986), Inflação inercial, teorias sobre inflação e Plano Cruzado, Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra.

Arida P. and Bacha E. (1987), “Balance of Payments: A Disequilibrium Analysis for Semi-Industrialized Economies”, Journal of Development Economics, 27 (1-2), pp. 85-108.

Arida P., Bacha E. and Resende A.L. (2005), “Credit, Interest, and Jurisdictional Uncertainty: Conjectures on the Case of Brazil”, in Giavazzi F., Goldfajn I. and Herrera S. (eds.) Inflation Targeting, Debt, and the Brazilian Experience, 1999 to 2003 (pp. 265-93), Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, pp. 265–293.

Autor D.H., Manning A. and Smith C.L (2016), “The Contribution of the Minimum Wage to US Inequality over Three Decades: A Reassessment”, American Economic Journal Applied Economics, 8 (1), pp. 58-99.

Bacha E. (1969), An Econometric Model for the World Coffee Economy: The Impact of Brazilian Price Policy, Ann Arbor: University Microfilms Library Services, Microfilm (Doctoral Dissertation Series) @ Edmar Lisboa Bacha; 31Jul69; A96261.

Bacha E. (1972), “O subemprego, o custo social da mão de obra e a estratégia brasileira de crescimento”, Revista Brasileira de Economia, 26 (1), pp. 105-116.

Bacha E. (1973), “Preference for Industry and Trade Policy in an Industrializing Country”, in Eckaus R. and Rosenstein-Rodan P.N., Analysis of Development Problems (pp. 269-291), Amsterdam: North Holland.

Bacha E. (1974a), “Hierarquia e remuneração gerencial”, Estudos Econômicos, 4 (1), pp. 143-175.

Bacha E. (1974b), “O Rei da Belíndia, o economista visitante e o produto interno bruto”, Opinião (Rio de Janeiro), 19 August, pp. 14-15. Revised version in Bacha E. (2012), Belíndia 2.0 (pp. 33-38), Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira.

Bacha E. (1977), “Case Studies in the Estimation of National Economic Parameters in Less Developed Countries”, in Berney R. and Schwartz H. (eds.), Social and Economic Dimensions of Project Evaluation, Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.

Bacha E. (1978), “An Interpretation of Unequal Exchange from Prebisch-Singer to Emmanuel”, Journal of Development Economics, 5 (4), pp. 319-330. Revised version in Spanish in Bacha E. (1986), El Milagro y la Crisis (pp. 360-373), México: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Bacha E. (1979), “The Kuznets Curve and Beyond: Growth and Changes in Inequalities”, in Malinvaud E. (ed.), Economic Growth and Resources. Vol. I. The Major Issues (pp. 52-73), New York: Macmillan.

Bacha E. (1980a), “Industrialization and Agricultural Development”, in Cody J., Hughes H. and Wall D.W., Policies for Industrial Progress in Developing Countries (pp. 259-277), New York: Oxford University Press.

Bacha E. (1980b), “Notas sobre inflação e crescimento”, Revista Brasileira de Economia, 34 (4), pp. 541-555.

Bacha E. (1982a), “Economic Growth, Urban and Rural Wages: The Case of Brazil”, in Teitel S. and Syrquin M. (eds.), Trade, Stability, Technology, and Equity in Latin America (pp. 449-472), New York: Academic Press.

Bacha E. (1982b), Análise Macroeconômica: Um Texto Intermediário, Rio de Janeiro: IPEA.

Bacha E. (1983a), “Vicissitudes of Recent Stabilization Attempts in Brazil and the IMF Alternative”, in Williamson J. (ed.), IMF Conditionality (pp. 323-340), Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics/MIT Press.

Bacha E. (1983b), “The IMF and the Prospects for Adjustment in Brazil”, in Williamson J. (ed.), Prospects for Adjustment in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico (pp. 31-41), Washington DC: Institute for International Economics/MIT Press.

Bacha E. (1983c), “A Critique of Southern Cone Monetarism”, International Social Science Journal (UNESCO), 35 (3), pp. 412-424.

Bacha E. (1984a), “Economic Growth with Limited Supplies of Foreign Exchange: A Reappraisal of the Two-Gap Model”, in Syrquin M., Taylor L. and Westphal L. (eds.), Economic Structure and Performance. Essays in Honor of Hollis B. Chenery (pp. 263-280), New York: Academic Press.

Bacha E. (1984b), “Brazil and the IMF: Prologue for the Third Letter of Intent”, Industry and Development (UNIDO) n. 12, June, pp. 101-13. Version in Portuguese in Revista de Economia Política, 3 (4), pp. 5-20.

Bacha E. (1984c), “Complementación vs. integración: estilos latinoamericanos de apertura financiera al exterior”, in Ocampo J. A. (ed.), La Política Económica en la Encrucijada (pp. 77-95), Bogotá: Banco de la República/Editorial Presencia. Version in Portuguese available at: www.econ.puc-rio.br/uploads/adm/trabalhos/files/TD42.PDF

Bacha E. (1985a), “O fim da inflação no reino de Lisarb”, Revista de Economia Política, 5 (1), pp. 126-143.

Bacha E. (1985b), “Inflaflução: os preços em alta no país do futebol”, Nova Imagem, Rio de Janeiro: IBGE n. 1, November. Reproduced in Bacha E. (2013), Belíndia 2.0 (pp. 51-54), Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira.

Bacha E. (1986a), El Milagro y la Crisis: Economía Brasileña y Latinoamericana, México, DF: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Bacha E. (1986b), “External Shocks and Growth Prospects: The Case of Brazil, 1973-89”, World Development, 14 (8), pp. 919-936.

Bacha E. (1987a), “La inercia y el conflicto: el Plan Cruzado y sus desafíos”, Estudios Económicos (El Colegio de México), special issue, October, pp. 167-185. Original version in Portuguese available at: http://www.econ.puc-rio.br/uploads/adm/trabalhos/files/TD131.PDF

Bacha E. (1987b), “IMF Conditionality: Conceptual Problems and Policy Alternatives”, World Development, 15 (12), pp. 1457-1467.

Bacha E. (1988a), “Moeda, inércia e conflito: reflexões sobre políticas de estabilização no Brasil”, Pesquisa e Planejamento Econômico, 18 (1), pp. 1-16.

Bacha E. (1988b), “Escaping Confrontation: Latin America’s Debt crisis in the Late 1980s”, in Borner S. (ed.), International Finance and Trade in a Polycentric World. Proceedings of a Conference Held in Basel by the International Economic Association (pp. 38-51), New York: Macmillan.

Bacha E. (1989), “Economic Trends in Latin America”, in Naya S. et al. (eds.), Lessons in Development: A Comparative Study of Asia and Latin America (pp. 39-51), San Francisco: International Center for Economic Growth.

Bacha E. (1990), “A Three-Gap Model of Foreign Transfers and the GDP Growth Rate in Developing Countries”, Journal of Development Economics, 32 (2), pp. 279-296.

Bacha E. (1992a), “External Debt, Net Transfers, and Growth in Developing Countries”, World Development, 20 (8), pp. 1183-1192.

Bacha E. (1992b), “Brazilian Coffee Policy: A Centennial Evaluation”, in Bacha E. and Greenhill R., 150 Years of Coffee (pp. 13-127), Rio de Janeiro: Salamandra/Marcellino Martins and E. Johnston Exportadores Ltda. Revised version in Portuguese in Bacha E., Belíndia 2.0 (pp. 305-408), Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira.

Bacha E. (1994), “O fisco e a inflação: uma interpretação do caso brasileiro”, Revista de Economia Política, 14 (1), pp. 5-17.

Bacha E. (1995), “Selected International Policy Issues on Private Market Financing for Developing Countries”, in Helleiner G. et al. (eds.), Poverty, Prosperity and the World Economy: Essays in Memory of Sidney Dell (pp. 167-184), New York: St. Martin Press.

Bacha E. (2002), “Do Consenso de Washington ao Dissenso de Cambridge”, in Castro A.C. (ed.), Desenvolvimento em Debate: Novos Rumos do Desenvolvimento no Mundo (pp. 359-365), Rio de Janeiro: Mauad: BNDES, available at file:///C:/Users/Edmar/Downloads/Desenvolvimento%20em%20debate%20-%20v.1.pdf

Bacha E. (2003a), “Brazil’s Plano Real: A View from the Inside”, in Dutt A.K. and Ros J. (eds.), Development Economics and Structuralist Macroeconomics: Essays in Honor of Lance Taylor (pp. 181-205), Cheltenham, UK: Edgar Elgar Publishing.

Bacha E. (2003b), “Reflexões pós-cepalinas sobre inflação e crise externa”, Revista de Economia Política, 23 (3), pp. 143-150.

Bacha E. (2011), “Além da tríade: como reduzir os juros?”, in Bacha E., deBolle M.B. (eds.), Novos Dilemas da Política Econômica: Ensaios em Homenagem a Dionisio Dias Carneiro (pp. 130-139), Rio de Janeiro: LTC.

Bacha E. (2012), Belíndia 2.0: Fábulas e Ensaios sobre o País dos Contrastes, Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira.

Bacha E. (2013), “Integrar para crescer: o Brasil e a economia mundial”, in Reis-Velloso J.P. (ed.), Visão de Brasil: Estratégia de Desenvolvimento Industrial (pp. 47-66), Rio de Janeiro: Fórum Nacional, available at http://iepecdg.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/160914INTEGRARPARACRESCER2-0x.pdf

Bacha E. and Bonelli R. (2016a), “Accounting for the Rise and Fall of Brazil’s Growth after World War II”, in Damill M., Rapetti M. and Rozenwurcel G. (eds.), Macroeconomics and Development: Roberto Frenkel and the Economics of Latin America (pp. 188-207), New York: Columbia University Press.

Bacha E. and Bonelli R. (2016b), “Coincident Growth Collapses: Brazil and Mexico after the 1980s”, Novos Estudos (CEBRAP), 105, July, pp. 151-181.

Bacha E. and Diaz-Alejandro C.F. (1982), “International Financial Intermediation: A Long and Tropical View”, Princeton Essays in International Finance, 147, May, pp. 133-151.

Bacha E. and Feinberg R. (1988), “When Supply and Demand Don’t Intersect: Latin America and the Bretton Woods Institutions in the 1980s”, Development and Change, 19 (3), pp. 371-400.

Bacha E. and Fishlow A. (2011), “Recent Commodity Price Boom and Latin American Growth: More Than New Bottles for an Old Wine?”, in Ocampo J.A. and Ros J. (eds.), The Oxford Latin America Economics Handbook (pp. 394-410), New York: Oxford University Press.

Bacha E. and Klein H. (eds.) (1989), Social Change in Brazil, 1945–1985, Albuquerque, NM: New Mexico University Press.

Bacha E. and Schwartzman S. (eds.) (2011), Brasil: A Nova Agenda Social, Rio de Janeiro: LTC Editores.

Bacha E. and Taylor L. (1971), “Foreign Exchange Shadow Prices: A Critical Evaluation of Current Theories”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 85 (2), pp. 197-224.

Bacha E. and Taylor L. (1978), “Brazilian Income Distribution in the 1960s: ‘Facts’, Model Results and the Controversy”, Journal of Development Studies, 14 (3), pp. 271-297.

Bacha E., Holland M. and Gonçalves F.M. (2009), “A Panel-Data Analysis of Interest Rates and Dollarization in Brazil”, Revista Brasileira de Economia, 63 (4), pp. 341–360.

Bacha E., Araujo A., da Mata M. and Modenesi R. (1971), Análise Governamental de Projetos de Investimento no Brasil, Rio de Janeiro: IPEA, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (3rd. ed. 1974).

Balassa B. (1983), “Policy Responses to External Shocks in Sub-Saharan African Countries”, Journal of Policy Modelling, 5 (1), pp. 75-106.

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Dube A. (2017), “Minimum Wages and the Distribution of Family Incomes”, IZA – Institute of Labor Economics DP, no. 10572, February, available at http://ftp.iza.org/dp10572.pdf

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Engbom N. and Moser C. (2017), “Earnings Inequality and the Minimum Wage: Evidence from Brazil”, CESifo Working Paper Series, no. 6393, available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2940013

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Group of 24 (Inter-Governmental Group of 24 on International Monetary Affairs) (1987), “The Role of the IMF in Adjustment with Growth”, in IMF Survey [Supplement on the Group of 24 Deputies’ Report], August 10, Washington (DC): International Monetary Fund.

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Lamounier B. and Bacha E. (1994), “Redemocratization and Economic Reform in Brazil”, in Nelson J. (ed.), A Precarious Balance: Democracy and Economic Reforms in Latin America. Volume II (pp. 43-185), San Francisco, CA: International Center for Economic Growth and Overseas Development Council.

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Lopes F. and Bacha E. (1983), “Inflation, Growth and Wage Policy: A Brazilian Perspective”, Journal of Development Economics, 13 (1–2), pp. 1-20.

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How to Cite

Bacha, E. (2018). On the economics of development: A view from Latin America. PSL Quarterly Review, 71(286), 327–349. https://doi.org/10.13133/2037-3643_71.286_4



Recollections of Eminent Economists