Dados n. 11 Rio de Janeiro 1973

Distribuição da Renda no Brasil - Um Novo Exame

Fishlow, Albert


This article is an extension of an earlier analysis of the Brazilian size distribution of income in four significant dimensions: analysis of the principal factors contributing to income concentration during the decade 1960/70; measurement of the role of physical capital in determining income in the agricultural sector; examination of the contributions of education and educational strategies to income level and equality; and evaluation of the role of income concentration in the demand for consumer durables in the recent boom. The author finds that it is wrong to stress the effects of a changing composition of the labor force as the fundamental cause of increased inequality between 1960 and 1970; widening income differentials, in part underwritten by government wage policy, played a significant part. The article emphasizes the important of landholding in determining the wide disparities and poverty found in the primary sector. It demonstrates the consequences of educational differentiation upon income equality, and the failure of more widespread education by itself to reduce inequality. lt indicates that income concentration of itself is not greatly important in the rising demand for consumer durables, nor is it to be accorded a prominent potential influence upon the extent of personal savings. The fundamental conclusion therefore is that income concentration is neither a necessary condition for continuing Brazilian growth nor can it be rationalized simply as a consequence of recent accelerated economic expansion. Policies can be devised to equalize better the distribution of capital, physical and human; to avoid the distortions of increasing wage differentials that characterized the period after 1964; and to compensate the very many poor that are, and will remain, disadvantaged even under conditions of extremely rapid growth. Neither simple extension of access to better education nor continuing economic growth; by themselves, will treat the problem of Brazilian poverty and inequality adequately. Both are necessary, but only within the context of a conscious commitment to distributive objectives will they ameliorate the present and future misery of the poor.

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Distribuição da Renda no Brasil - Um Novo Exame