Do Structural Reforms Always Succeed? Lessons from Brazil

WIDER Working Paper No. 2004/X

48 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2004

See all articles by Jorge Arbache

Jorge Arbache

Development Bank of Latin America - CAF

Date Written: August 2004


In the last twenty years, Brazil has experienced several attempts of improving sustainable growth through stabilization programs, and more recently, structural reforms in line with the Washington Consensus Agenda. The results, however, have been disappointing, as the per capita output growth has remained below its historic trend, and poverty and inequality remain at high levels. This paper investigates why market-oriented reforms such as trade and capital account liberalization, privatization, deregulation and stabilization failed to boost growth in Brazil. We conclude that structural reforms may contribute to growth if accompanied by microeconomic policies tailor-made to the country's needs, and by appropriate macroeconomic, institutional and political environments.

Keywords: Structural reforms, policy coordination, fiscal policy, stabilization, trade liberalization, political economy, Brazil

JEL Classification: E61, E62, E63, E65, F15, P11, P16

Suggested Citation

Arbache, Jorge, Do Structural Reforms Always Succeed? Lessons from Brazil (August 2004). WIDER Working Paper No. 2004/X, Available at SSRN: or

Jorge Arbache (Contact Author)

Development Bank of Latin America - CAF ( email )

Av Canaval Moreyra 380
Lima, Lima
+ 55 61 98194 4529 (Phone)

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