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Inclusive growth, social development and antipoverty transfers in Brazil 
Armando Barrientos, Professor and Research Director, International Research Initiative on Brazil and Africa 
a.barrientos@manchester.ac.uk 
International Policy Seminar – Social development: A UK-Brazil Dialogue, London School of Economics and Political Science, 14 November 2014
Page 2 of 11 
The International Research Initiative on Brazil and Africa IRIBA 
A three-year research programme established in January 2014 and funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development 
Addresses two main research questions: 
Is there a new Brazilian development model? 
What lessons might Brazil’s success have for the economies of sub-Saharan Africa? 
Phase 1 (2014) focuses on the first question; while Phase 2 (2015-2016) focuses on the second question 
Network of researchers in Universities in Brazil, the UK, the USA, Canada, Germany, South Africa and the World Bank…. so far! 
Outcomes: research papers and policy uptake, but also research networks
Page 3 of 11 
Topics in Phase 1 
1. Transforming Agriculture through Productivity Growth: Lessons from Brazilian Agricultural Development 
2. The Diversification of Agricultural Exports and Production from 1990-2012 
3. Technological Catch-up and Indigenous Institutional Infrastructures: The Role of EMBRAPA 
4. Restructuring Brazil’s National Financial System 
5. Institutions for Macro Stability: Inflation Targets and Fiscal Responsibility 
6. Brazilian Anti-Corruption Legislation and its Enforcement: Potential Lessons for Institutional Design 
7. Infrastructure and its role in Brazil’s Development Process 
8. Accounting for the Decline in Inequality 
9. Antipoverty Transfers and Inclusive Growth in Brazil 
10. The Impact of SENAI's Vocational Training Program on Employment, Wages, and Mobility in Brazil 
11. Tax, Redistribution and the Social Contract in Brazil 
12. Synthesis paper: Is there a new Brazilian Development Model?
Page 4 of 11 
Inclusive growth is the distinctive feature of Brazil’s recent performance
Page 5 of 11 
Main findings from Phase 1 
Brazil’s impressive development progress is grounded on a strong social and political consensus on the need to tackle poverty and inequality, through a stable economy and inclusive growth. 
Brazil developed a comprehensive and effective set of institutions to manage the economy providing both stability and the fiscal space to support innovative social policies. 
More effective institutions helped raise the productivity of agriculture, enabling Brazil to become a major exporter. Long-term government investment in agricultural research provided a crucial boost. 
A combination of labour market (minimum wage) and social policies (social pensions and human development income guarantees) have ensured the benefits of economic growth reach the poorest Brazilians. 
Despite significant progress, Brazil still faces big challenges. Investment in infrastructure has proved insufficient and the effects form the global economic slowdown is resulting in considerable stress on the social contract.
Page 6 of 11 
Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth 1 
Bolsa Família (BF) is the flagship social assistance programme, but Previdência Social Rural (PSR) and Beneficio de Prestação Continuada (BPC) are also important 
Note: PSR is Previdência Social Rural; RMV is Renda Mensal Vitalícia a non-contributory pension programme replaced by the Benefício de Prestação Continuada or BPC in 1996. BF is Bolsa Família. The Figure shows the stock of transfers in December of each year, except for 2013 which reports the numbers in the last month available. Data Source: IPEA and MDS data available online at http://www.ipeadata.gov.br/ and http://www.mds.gov.br/relcrys/bpc/indice.htm 
0246810121416199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013 milllions Brazil: Antipoverty transfers (millions) PSRBPCBF
Page 7 of 11 
Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth 2 
Bolsa Família’s focus on human development and its ‘productivism’ have strengthened its contribution to inclusive growth 
Impact on human development 
Impact evaluation data [de Brauw, Gilligan et al 2012] show impacts along a range of household variables: children’s nutrition; school attendance [4pps, especially for girls and in the Northeast]; delayed entry into the labour market by 1 year 
Impact on poverty and inequality 
BF accounts for 2pp of the 1999-2009 reduction in headcount poverty from 26% to 14%; and 1.6pp of a reduction in extreme poverty from 9.9% to 4.8%) [Soares et al 2010]. 
BF and BPC account for one third a 10% decline in the Gini 2000-2009.
Page 8 of 11 
Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth 3 
Impact on outcomes 
Transfers raise, and stabilize, household income among poorest households 
Transfers lead to improvements in household productive capacity, especially human development among children 
Impact on the distribution of these outcomes across municipalities 
IRIBA research shows that Bolsa Família outcomes on girls’ school attendance across metropolitan municipalities are larger for the municipalities with the lowest school attendance rates
Page 9 of 11 
Conclusions 
The 1988 Constitution led to the emergence of social assistance in Brazil as a means to address exclusion. Three main strategies: incorporating less advantaged workers in social insurance on favourable conditions; transfers to older people in poor households; and human development income guarantees to households in extreme poverty 
Over time, all three strategies developed an institutional basis and grew in coverage, but Bolsa Família becomes the flagship programme 
Why have antipoverty transfers in Brazil have contributed to inclusive growth? 
…because of a strong focus on human capital and a productivist orientation 
How? 
by facilitating an improvement in (mean) outcomes of lower income groups 
by improving the distribution of outcomes across municipalities (Bolsa Família) 
Issues for the UK: The contribution of effective social policies is essential to secure inclusive growth; social investment is complementary to growth and human development; social contracts are sustained by a concern for the least advantaged
Page 10 of 11 
Check our website for regular updates at www.brazil4africa.org 
Twitter: 
#Brazil4Africa 
Video briefings: http://bit.ly/IRIBAvideos
Page 11 of 11 
The distribution of girls’ schooling outcomes across municipalities? 
School attendance outcomes associated with BF positive and significant up to the 0.5 quantile; 
effect is small for a municipality at the global maximum 8pp increase in BF incidence needed for a 1pp increase in school attendance rate 
Figure 4. The distribution of Bolsa Familia effects on school attendance rates of girls 6-15 years old across quantiles of a panel of municipalities 2003-2009 Source: Authors’ quantile regression panel data and OLS regressions. For quantile regressions, point estimates and bootstrapped confidence intervals at 90% and 95% are included. All specifications include all regressors, including per capita income, adult school level, employment structure, household head characteristics, other individual characteristics, dwelling characteristics, geographical area, as well as unobservable accounting characteristics. The sample size is 1,911 self- representative municipal observations given by 7 observations for each of 273 self-representative municipalities. 0.1.2.3Change 0.1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.91Quantiles OLS

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Brazil's Antipoverty Transfers Drive Inclusive Growth

  • 1. Page 1 of 11 Inclusive growth, social development and antipoverty transfers in Brazil Armando Barrientos, Professor and Research Director, International Research Initiative on Brazil and Africa a.barrientos@manchester.ac.uk International Policy Seminar – Social development: A UK-Brazil Dialogue, London School of Economics and Political Science, 14 November 2014
  • 2. Page 2 of 11 The International Research Initiative on Brazil and Africa IRIBA A three-year research programme established in January 2014 and funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development Addresses two main research questions: Is there a new Brazilian development model? What lessons might Brazil’s success have for the economies of sub-Saharan Africa? Phase 1 (2014) focuses on the first question; while Phase 2 (2015-2016) focuses on the second question Network of researchers in Universities in Brazil, the UK, the USA, Canada, Germany, South Africa and the World Bank…. so far! Outcomes: research papers and policy uptake, but also research networks
  • 3. Page 3 of 11 Topics in Phase 1 1. Transforming Agriculture through Productivity Growth: Lessons from Brazilian Agricultural Development 2. The Diversification of Agricultural Exports and Production from 1990-2012 3. Technological Catch-up and Indigenous Institutional Infrastructures: The Role of EMBRAPA 4. Restructuring Brazil’s National Financial System 5. Institutions for Macro Stability: Inflation Targets and Fiscal Responsibility 6. Brazilian Anti-Corruption Legislation and its Enforcement: Potential Lessons for Institutional Design 7. Infrastructure and its role in Brazil’s Development Process 8. Accounting for the Decline in Inequality 9. Antipoverty Transfers and Inclusive Growth in Brazil 10. The Impact of SENAI's Vocational Training Program on Employment, Wages, and Mobility in Brazil 11. Tax, Redistribution and the Social Contract in Brazil 12. Synthesis paper: Is there a new Brazilian Development Model?
  • 4. Page 4 of 11 Inclusive growth is the distinctive feature of Brazil’s recent performance
  • 5. Page 5 of 11 Main findings from Phase 1 Brazil’s impressive development progress is grounded on a strong social and political consensus on the need to tackle poverty and inequality, through a stable economy and inclusive growth. Brazil developed a comprehensive and effective set of institutions to manage the economy providing both stability and the fiscal space to support innovative social policies. More effective institutions helped raise the productivity of agriculture, enabling Brazil to become a major exporter. Long-term government investment in agricultural research provided a crucial boost. A combination of labour market (minimum wage) and social policies (social pensions and human development income guarantees) have ensured the benefits of economic growth reach the poorest Brazilians. Despite significant progress, Brazil still faces big challenges. Investment in infrastructure has proved insufficient and the effects form the global economic slowdown is resulting in considerable stress on the social contract.
  • 6. Page 6 of 11 Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth 1 Bolsa Família (BF) is the flagship social assistance programme, but Previdência Social Rural (PSR) and Beneficio de Prestação Continuada (BPC) are also important Note: PSR is Previdência Social Rural; RMV is Renda Mensal Vitalícia a non-contributory pension programme replaced by the Benefício de Prestação Continuada or BPC in 1996. BF is Bolsa Família. The Figure shows the stock of transfers in December of each year, except for 2013 which reports the numbers in the last month available. Data Source: IPEA and MDS data available online at http://www.ipeadata.gov.br/ and http://www.mds.gov.br/relcrys/bpc/indice.htm 0246810121416199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013 milllions Brazil: Antipoverty transfers (millions) PSRBPCBF
  • 7. Page 7 of 11 Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth 2 Bolsa Família’s focus on human development and its ‘productivism’ have strengthened its contribution to inclusive growth Impact on human development Impact evaluation data [de Brauw, Gilligan et al 2012] show impacts along a range of household variables: children’s nutrition; school attendance [4pps, especially for girls and in the Northeast]; delayed entry into the labour market by 1 year Impact on poverty and inequality BF accounts for 2pp of the 1999-2009 reduction in headcount poverty from 26% to 14%; and 1.6pp of a reduction in extreme poverty from 9.9% to 4.8%) [Soares et al 2010]. BF and BPC account for one third a 10% decline in the Gini 2000-2009.
  • 8. Page 8 of 11 Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth 3 Impact on outcomes Transfers raise, and stabilize, household income among poorest households Transfers lead to improvements in household productive capacity, especially human development among children Impact on the distribution of these outcomes across municipalities IRIBA research shows that Bolsa Família outcomes on girls’ school attendance across metropolitan municipalities are larger for the municipalities with the lowest school attendance rates
  • 9. Page 9 of 11 Conclusions The 1988 Constitution led to the emergence of social assistance in Brazil as a means to address exclusion. Three main strategies: incorporating less advantaged workers in social insurance on favourable conditions; transfers to older people in poor households; and human development income guarantees to households in extreme poverty Over time, all three strategies developed an institutional basis and grew in coverage, but Bolsa Família becomes the flagship programme Why have antipoverty transfers in Brazil have contributed to inclusive growth? …because of a strong focus on human capital and a productivist orientation How? by facilitating an improvement in (mean) outcomes of lower income groups by improving the distribution of outcomes across municipalities (Bolsa Família) Issues for the UK: The contribution of effective social policies is essential to secure inclusive growth; social investment is complementary to growth and human development; social contracts are sustained by a concern for the least advantaged
  • 10. Page 10 of 11 Check our website for regular updates at www.brazil4africa.org Twitter: #Brazil4Africa Video briefings: http://bit.ly/IRIBAvideos
  • 11. Page 11 of 11 The distribution of girls’ schooling outcomes across municipalities? School attendance outcomes associated with BF positive and significant up to the 0.5 quantile; effect is small for a municipality at the global maximum 8pp increase in BF incidence needed for a 1pp increase in school attendance rate Figure 4. The distribution of Bolsa Familia effects on school attendance rates of girls 6-15 years old across quantiles of a panel of municipalities 2003-2009 Source: Authors’ quantile regression panel data and OLS regressions. For quantile regressions, point estimates and bootstrapped confidence intervals at 90% and 95% are included. All specifications include all regressors, including per capita income, adult school level, employment structure, household head characteristics, other individual characteristics, dwelling characteristics, geographical area, as well as unobservable accounting characteristics. The sample size is 1,911 self- representative municipal observations given by 7 observations for each of 273 self-representative municipalities. 0.1.2.3Change 0.1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.91Quantiles OLS