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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2014||Colonial Institutions, Commodity Booms, and the Diffusion of Elementary Education in Brazil, 1889-1930|
with Aldo Musacchio, Martina Viarengo: w20029
We explain how the decentralization of fiscal responsibility among Brazilian states between 1889 and 1930 promoted a unequal expansion in public schooling. We document how the variation in state export tax revenues, product of commodity booms, explains increases in expenditures on education, literacy, and schools per children. Yet we also find that such improvements did not take place in states that either had more slaves before abolition or cultivated cotton during colonial times. Beyond path-dependence, ours story emphasizes the interaction between colonial institutions and subsequent fiscal changes to explain radical changes in the ranking of states which persists until today.
|October 2009||Endowments, Fiscal Federalism, and the Cost of Capital for States: Evidence from Brazil, 1891-1930|
with Aldo Musacchio: w15411
In the last few years there has been an explosion in the number of papers that aim to explain what determines country risk (defined as the difference between the yield of a sovereign's bonds and the risk free rate). In this paper, we contribute to the discussion using by showing that Brazilian states with natural endowments that allowed them to export commodities that were in high demand (e.g., rubber and coffee) between 1891 and 1930 ended up having higher revenues per capita and, thus, lower cost of capital. The link between exports and state government revenues works in the Brazilian case because of the extreme form of fiscal federalism that the Brazilian government adopted in the Constitution of 1891, giving state governments the sole right to tax exports. We create a panel of state de...
Published: Martinez Fritscher, André C. & Musacchio, Aldo, 2010."Endowments, fiscal federalism and the cost of capital for states: evidence from Brazil, 1891–1930," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(01), pages 13-50, April. citation courtesy of