Carlos Pereira

Getulio Vargas Foundation


NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2016A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Critical Transitions
with Lee J. Alston, Marcus André Melo, Bernardo Mueller: w22144
Critical transitions for a country are historical periods when the powerful organizations in a country shift from one set of beliefs about how institutions (the formal and informal rules of the game) will affect outcomes to a new set of beliefs. Critical transitions can lead a country toward more openness politically and economically or toward a more exclusionary society. Economic and political development is contextual; that is, there is no recipe. Periods of relative persistence are the norm with changes in institutions at the margin. We develop a framework consisting of several interconnected relatively unexplored concepts that we first define in a static context and then utilize to show how they produce a dynamic of institutional change or persistence. The key concepts include: windows...
December 2012Changing Social Contracts: Beliefs and Dissipative Inclusion in Brazil
with Lee J. Alston, Marcus Melo, Bernardo Mueller: w18588
Social contracts about inequality and redistribution are country-specific. We rely on a model of inequality and redistribution where multiple steady states can emerge in given country. We link the model to the recent literature on beliefs and argue that beliefs are a major determinant of which equilibrium results. We show that changes in beliefs may shift the equilibrium in a country over time. We present evidence that beliefs are typically very stable over time, yet argue that Brazil has recently undergone a dramatic shift in beliefs which we show is associated with a change in the country's social contract in the past thirty years. The transition from one social contract to another has taken place through a process which we call 'dissipative inclusion', where redistribution and social in...

Published: Alston, Lee J. & Melo, Marcus Andre & Mueller, Bernardo & Pereira, Carlos, 2013. "Changing social contracts: Beliefs and dissipative inclusion in Brazil," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 48-65. citation courtesy of

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