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The State and Development Without Disarticulation: The Invisible Ways That Brazil Creates Jobs For Poor People

Thursday April 10, 2014, from 14:00 to 16:00
Room Fred Halliday - IBEI (1st Floor)
Research seminar
Samuel Cohn (Texas A&M University)

Development studies and development economics often mis-specify the mechanisms by which the state creates employment for the poor. Debates over glamorous high visibility issues such as the developmentalist state, direct foreign investment, microcredit or income transfer programs, often ignore more routine garden variety state programs that can have profound effects on the standards of living and  economic well being of poor people.

Looking at three forgotten sectors, Brazilian hotel, restaurants and barber/beauty shops, and using combining fieldwork and oral history with an unusual statistical methodology, a series of government programs are identified that have had a surprisingly positive effect on employment and income in Brazil.

The findings point to the importance of a forgotten theorist of capitalist development, James O’Connor. This has importance both for revising the theory of the developmentalist state, revising the institutionalist critique of neoliberalism, and for addressing the current challenges to continued prosperity that threaten both the Global South and the advanced capitalist nations.

Seminar IBEI Cohn