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The History of Consumer Credit in Brazil: From the Developmentalist Era to Lula

Danielle Santanna

International Journal of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 49, issue 3, 203-221

Abstract: A vast literature describes the process of credit expansion that took place in the early 2000s in Brazil, which entailed a strong increase in consumer credit. Given the centrality of consumer credit not only in the determination of macroeconomic dynamics but also in the daily life of the population, the history of its evolution is a recurring and important theme in the context of developed countries. Such a history has, however, not been told for the Brazilian case. Using archival and other sources, this paper puts this process into historical perspective using a Social Structure of Accumulation framework. We find that the expansion of consumer credit has underpinned Brazil’s accumulation regimes. Putting consumer credit to the historical test allows us to deepen the understanding of its modern expansion and the role played by this credit in the organization of the economic system through time.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/08911916.2020.1824736

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