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Distributional Impacts of Brazil’s Tax Reform: scenarios regarding Cesta Básica exemption

2023-10-31, Vale, Ricardo, Lara Ibarra, Gabriel, Fleury, Eduardo, Trzcinski, Kajetan

A consumption tax reform in Brazil has been recently approved by the House of Representatives, providing a full tax exemption for the yet undefined ‘National Basic Basket’ of goods (cesta basica nacional), alongside a cashback scheme that is yet to be determined. This note simulates the distributional impacts of different fiscally neutral scenarios of reduced rates and exemptions. The authors show that the exemption of taxes for food and personal care goods (such as those suggested by Law 10,925) would benefit the most vulnerable. Nonetheless, overall expenditures on certain items that are being considered for inclusion in the cesta are relatively concentrated on households in the top decile of the income distribution. Thus, a blanket exemption on Cesta Basica items may benefit the richest more in absolute terms. If the list of items in the exempted Cesta Basica is shortened and the equivalent resources of the potential forgone revenues are returned into a targeted cashback scheme, a far less regressive indirect tax system could be achieved.

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Nature-Related Financial Risks in Brazil

2021-08, Calice, Pietro, Diaz Kalan, Federico, Miguel, Faruk

Biodiversity loss and associated economic costs are increasingly recognized as a source of financial risks. This paper explores how and to what extent Brazilian banks are exposed to the loss of biodiversity through their lending to non-financial corporates. The results suggest that such exposures are material. Forty-six percent of Brazilian banks’ non-financial corporate loan portfolio is concentrated in sectors highly or very highly dependent on one or more ecosystem services. Output losses associated with the collapse in ecosystem services could translate into a cumulative long-term increase in corporate nonperforming loans of 9 percentage points. Moreover, 15 percent of Brazilian banks’ corporate loan portfolio is to firms potentially operating in protected areas, which could increase to 25 percent should conservation gaps close, and 38 percent should all priority areas become protected. Finally, 7 percent of corporate loans are to firms for which environmental controversies have been recorded. While preliminary, the results have important policy implications for both Brazilian banks and Banco Central do Brasil.

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The Value of Data: An Estimate of the Cost of (Not) Updating Brazil’s Consumer Price Index

2023-09-01, Vale, Ricardo, Conceicao, Otavio, Lara Ibarra, Gabriel

Consumer price indices are central to monitoring, guiding, and defining a country's economic development path. By capturing how prices change over time, consumer price indices provide a measure of the evolution of the cost of living for households. The impact of price indices on the economy is very broad, affecting everything from the adjustment of pensions to the monetary policy of the Central Bank, from cash transfer programs to private sector contracts. The measurement of inflation has, therefore, real consequences for the country's evolution. In this note, authors study the Brazilian case and focus on the potential fiscal implications of the unavailability of a household budget survey in a timely manner. The note presents two hypothetical exercises that vary the timing at which the national statistical office incorporates updated information from a household budget survey into the CPI. Varying the timing of adoption of the expenditure information allows to create a counterfactual price index that can be compared to the true CPI at different points in time. Finally, using the actual and counterfactual CPI we answer the following question: what would have been the government expenditures should the CPI update have been delayed The note focuses on expenditures on pensions (aposentadorias) due to data availability. Recognizing that there are many other government policies that depend on inflation estimates, the estimates presented can be interpreted as a lower bound of the effect of interest.

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Jobs and Growth: Brazil's Productivity Agenda

2018-06-22, Dutz, Mark A.

Brazil approaches its 2018 election with an economy that is gradually recovering from the deepest recession in its recent economic history. However, for many Brazilians, the recovery has not yet translated into new and better jobs, or rising incomes. This book explores the drivers of future employment and income growth. Its key finding: Brazil needs to dramatically improve its performance across all industries in terms of productivity if the country is to provide better jobs for its citizens and generate lasting gains in incomes growth for all. This is particularly important as Brazil is aging rapidly and the boost the country has enjoyed thanks to its young and growing labor force in the past decades will disappear in just a few years’ time. The book recommends a change in the relationship between the state and business, from rewarding privileged incumbents to fostering competition and innovation—together with supporting workers and firms to adjust to the demands of the market. The book is addressed to all scholars and students of Brazil’s economy, especially those interested in why the country’s economic performance has not kept up with earlier achievements since the reintroduction of democracy in the mid-1980s. Its conclusions are urgent and pertinent but also optimistic. With the right policy mix, Brazil could enter the third century of its independence in 2022 well on track to join the ranks of high income countries.

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Opportunities for All: Brazil Policy Notes 2022

2022-12, World Bank

This package of Public Policy Notes is directed to Brazilian policy makers and society to present the World Bank Group’s overview of key challenges facing the country at this juncture, and possible ways forward to address them. We present an agenda prioritized around four issues of core relevance to Brazil’s recovery and its future resilience. First is the goal of financing development sustainably given the immediate challenge of situating the country’s enormous growth, inclusion and climate action needs within a credible macroeconomic framework and efficient and effective fiscal policies. The second theme addressed in this note is building opportunities through productivity-led growth. With the growing reliance of Brazilians on social assistance policies, it is critical to keep sight of growth and jobs as the most important vehicles for the dignity and upward mobility of the poor. Third is increasing the capabilities and economic inclusion of the poor so that they are better able to capture the opportunities that come with growth. Thefourth theme we address in this note is meeting Brazil’s potential as a as a leader in green and climate friendly development. This document is accompanied by a package of six policy presentations and an underlying set of more detailed policy reports that can be accesses here: https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/brazil.

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Twenty Years of Health System Reform in Brazil : An Assessment of the Sistema Único de Saúde

2013-06-13, Gragnolati, Michele, Lindelow, Magnus

It has been more than 20 years since Brazil's 1988 Constitution formally established the Unified Health System (Sistema Unico de Saude, SUS). Building on reforms that started in the 1980s, the SUS represented a significant break with the past, establishing health care as a fundamental right and duty of the state and initiating a process of fundamentally transforming Brazil's health system to achieve this goal. This report aims to answer two main questions. First is have the SUS reforms transformed the health system as envisaged 20 years ago? Second, have the reforms led to improvements with regard to access to services, financial protection, and health outcomes? In addressing these questions, the report revisits ground covered in previous assessments, but also brings to bear additional or more recent data and places Brazil's health system in an international context. The report shows that the health system reforms can be credited with significant achievements. The report points to some promising directions for health system reforms that will allow Brazil to continue building on the achievements made to date. Although it is possible to reach some broad conclusions, there are many gaps and caveats in the story. A secondary aim of the report is to consider how some of these gaps can be filled through improved monitoring of health system performance and future research. The introduction presents a short review of the history of the SUS, describes the core principles that underpinned the reform, and offers a brief description of the evaluation framework used in the report. Chapter two presents findings on the extent to which the SUS reforms have transformed the health system, focusing on delivery, financing, and governance. Chapter three asks whether the reforms have resulted in improved outcomes with regard to access to services, financial protection, quality, health outcomes, and efficiency. The concluding chapter presents the main findings of the study, discusses some policy directions for addressing the current shortcomings, and identifies areas for further research.