Brazil in the Global Economy. Measuring the Gains from Trade

Published on 1 April 2009

The Brazilian economy has experienced sustained growth since 2000, after several turbulent decades. The country’s engagement with the global economy has played a largely positive, if secondary, role and Brazil has assumed a leading position in world trade negotiations. At the same time, the country has struggled to generate sufficient employment and improve labor incomes. Unemployment hovers at about 8 percent, and of those who work, slightly more than half do so informally. Average earnings today are lower than in the mid-1990s.

Brazilian policy makers face complicated challenges as they try to grow the economy in ways that will generate better livelihoods and incomes. The current global economic downturn is likely to make these tasks even more difficult.

The purpose of this study is to contribute to the knowledge base upon which the Brazilian government and public, as well as the international community, evaluate the policy choices the country faces in the realm of trade. We employ computable general equilibrium models of the global and Brazilian economies to simulate a range of possible trade agreements as well as other changes in the global economy that could affect the country. We explore the effects of these changes on the Brazilian economy, including its sectors, workforce, and households.


Dirk Willenbockel

Research Fellow

Publication details

Polaski, S., de Souza Ferreira Filho, J., Berg, J., McDonald, S., Thierfelder, K., Willenbockel, D. and Zepeda, E.


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