Economic research institutions, policy discourse, and channels of influence in Brazil (1995 – 2005)



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In this thesis, I study the economic policy models supported by influential academic economists in Brazil over the eleven years following the implementation of the Plano Real. I focus on two economic research institutions: the Economics Department at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA). I first show how economists affiliated with these institutions were in a position to influence policy due to their prestige, academic power, and strong formal and informal ties to the policymaking bureaucracy. I then analyze working papers published by PUC-Rio and IPEA from 1995-2005 and show that the institutions produce three distinct, coherent economic policy discourses. I conclude by showing parallels between economic policy outcomes in Brazil during the period and the economic policy ideas found in the working papers.