Saturday, May 29, 2010

Books on Brazil

Tyler Cowen's post on "The culture that is Brazil" reminded me of how important it is to read foreigners account on our home countries. ("Closing banks on soccer games"? What is wrong in that?"). I do appreciate reading guide books on Brazil and I have a few notes about them:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saludos Amigos (2011)

"Rio" (2011)

"Saludos Amigos" (1942)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sentences you will never read in a published paper

If I were sincere, I'd have written half of the sentences. HT NPTO

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I suspect...

...that physicists say the G-word just to get research funds from scientific illiterate politicians. (See the last line)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Taxation, Lobbies and Welfare in an Enclave Economy: Rubber in the Brazilian Amazon 1870-1910

I've met Felipe Tãmega in 2006. He was a graduate student in economic history at the LSE and Colin Lewis was his thesis supervisor. At first glance it was obvious that he was a really talented young man and a nice chap. Google led me to this very interesting paper from him (I guess it is part of his PhD thesis):
Taxation, Lobbies and Welfare in an Enclave Economy: Rubber in the Brazilian Amazon 1870-1910
This paper uses an enclave economy (Brazilian Amazon) to show that [export] taxes can be welfare enhancing and be used as instruments to move the economy away from the immiserizing growth path. Nonetheless, the results show that the government could have raised the Brazilian Amazon's welfare with a much higher export tax, and offers political-economic reasons why it did not.
Now he is at the Harvard Business School. Great! Congratulations!!!

Two Cliometric Links

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Colonial Institutions, Slavery, Inequality, and Development: Evidence from São Paulo, Brazil

- Everybody is talking about the new paper from William Summerhill. Abstract:

Brazil is frequently portrayed as exhibiting persistent and structural economic inequality that is rooted in the early colonial experience, and is believed to undermine development in the long run. I construct original measures of agricultural inequality for 1905 in what is today Brazil’s largest state, using farm-level micro data for some 50,000 farms. Using these measures of inequality, along with contemporary covariates and other historical variables I assess the impact of colonial institutions, slavery, farm inequality, and political inequality on long-term development in São Paulo. The principal findings are: (1) a potentially coercive colonial institution, the aldeamento, is positively correlated with income per capita at the end of the twentieth century; (2) measures of the intensity of slavery have little if any independent impact on income in 2000; (3) farm inequality was not persistent in São Paulo at the county level over the twentieth century; (4) in both OLS and IV estimates, no negative effect can be found for 1905 inequality on long-term development; (5) political inequality in the early twentieth century, measured by the extent of the franchise, is unrelated to contemporary farm inequality, and also unrelated to long-term economic growth; and (6) the provision of local public goods in the early twentieth century, measured by local public education outlays, has a positive impact on long-term development, but was not related to contemporary economic or political inequality. Overall, neither the intensity of slavery nor the pattern of inequality had any discernable negative economic impact in the long run.

Cool stuff.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Maps! Maps! Maps!

The Beauty of Maps:the dark side of the moon, XVI century Constantinopla, the Universe and beyond... (HT do Breno Baldrati)
Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession:
BBC docs are blocked outside the UK, so you have to find another way to download them.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The first law of tourism

There is an inverse relationship between the reputation of hospitality of a country and its number of tourist attractions.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Reboot of the European airspace

after the eruption of the I-dunno-how-to-spell-it volcano:

HT Caio Cardim.