Middle-Income Trap: An Analysis for Brazil


  • Wagner Murilo Pereira Takata Universidade Estadual de Maringá
  • Carlândia Santos Brito Fernandes Universidade Estadual de Maringá


middle-income trap, GDP per capita, economic growth


The low economic growth of Brazil in the years 2010 has been studied in economic literature and many authors defend the existence of a middle-income trap (MIT). This paper verifies if Brazil is in such trap and which factors would be potential candidates to help the country escape this condition and advance to higher levels of income. Using Johansen (1988) cointegration analysis, a long-term relation between the triggering factors and GDP per capita of Brazil was investigated. The analysis comprehends the period between 1954 and 2019 and the results indicate that human capital, total factor productivity and government spending positively impacted Brazil’s per capita GDP. Thus, the analysis suggests that an improvement on these indicators could help the country escape the MIT.


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