The Roots of Brazil’s Heavy Taxation

GABRIEL ONDETTI
JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES 47.4 (2015): 749-779

Abstract: Latin America is widely known as a low-tax region, but Brazil defies that description with a tax burden almost double the regional average. Though longstanding, Brazil’s position atop the tax burden ranking is not a historical constant. As recently as the early 1950s three other countries, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, had similar or even heavier burdens. However, by the early 1980s Brazil had emerged as the most heavily taxed country in Latin America, and subsequent decades reinforced that status. This article seeks to uncover the roots of Brazil’s heavy taxation by examining the process through which it rose to the top of the regional ranking and managed to stay there. It emphasises two variables, the social class bases of public sector growth and the degree of support for democracy among key political actors. Despite changing over time, these variables have consistently interacted in ways that favour rising taxation.

Classical Liberalism in Guatemala

ANDRÉS MARROQUÍN AND FRITZ THOMAS
ECON JOURNAL WATCH 12.3 (2015): 460-478

Abstract: We give an account of classical liberalism in Guatemala, its successes, failures, and main figures. Classical liberalism is a young tradition in the country and relatively small. The three most important organizations are Universidad Francisco Marroquín, the Center for Economic and Social Studies (CEES), and the Center for National Economic Research (CIEN). The most important individual for liberalism in Guatemala has been Manuel Ayau, who passed away in 2010.

Venezuela: Without Liberals, There Is No Liberalism

HUGO J. FARIA AND LEONOR FILARDO
ECON JOURNAL WATCH 12.3 (2015): 375-399

Abstract: The Venezuelan economy evolved from a growth miracle (1920–1957) to a growth disaster (1960 to the present). This paper describes the institutional collapse behind this reversal of fortunes. To cast light on Venezuela’s U-turn we provide a brief historical account, and we discuss the role played by educational organizations, the media and culture, and political and entrepreneurial elites in the destruction of liberal institutions. We also describe the most prominent liberal reactions to the pervasive institutional decay endured by the country. Finally, a major lesson emerges from this case study: illiberal mindsets coupled with the absence of leadership bring dire consequences for the people’s standard of living.

The Stock Exchange, the State and Economic Development in Mexico, 1932-1976

JAVIER MORENO-LAZARO
REVISTA DE HISTORIA ECONÓMICA / JOURNAL OF IBERIAN AND LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC HISTORY 33.2 (2015): 321-350

Abstract: In this article I examine the history of the Mexican Stock Exchange from the end of the Revolution until 1975, under the hypothesis that it did not carry out its pertinent functions in corporate financing but was rather an economic and political instrument of the government. Due to state intervention and the deficient definition of property rights, its functioning was completely anomalous except during this period. The article represents a first step in the study of the role of the stock exchange in Latin American corporatist economic models.

The Political Economy of Policy Volatility in Latin America

DAVID DOYLE
LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS AND SOCIETY (2014). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-2456.2014.00246.x

Abstract: Why are some Latin American states plagued by persistent policy volatility while the policies of others remain relatively stable? This article explores the political economy of natural resource rents and policy volatility across Latin America. Continue reading

The Effect of Coca and FDI on the Level of Corruption in Bolivia

ANTONIO BOJANIC
LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW 23.11 (2014)

This paper estimates the impact that FDI inflows and the price of coca leaves have on the level of corruption in Bolivia. The findings reveal that a less controlled, more permissive market for coca leaves actually reduces the level of corruption in the country, supporting the hypothesis that the way to a less corrupt Bolivia is by lowering government intervention into this controversial market.

The Distributive Politics of Enforcement

ALISHA C. HOLLAND
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE (MAY 2014) DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12125

Abstract: Why do some politicians tolerate the violation of the law? In contexts where the poor are the primary violators of property laws, I argue that the answer lies in the electoral costs of enforcement: Enforcement can decrease support from poor voters even while it generates support among nonpoor voters. Continue reading