OECD Economic Surveys: Brazil

1999-0820 (online)
1995-3763 (print)
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OECD’s periodic surveys of the Brazilian economy. Each edition surveys the major challenges faced by the country, evaluates the short-term outlook, and makes specific policy recommendations. Special chapters take a more detailed look at specific challenges. Extensive statistical information is included in charts and graphs.

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OECD Economic Surveys: Brazil 2015

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04 Nov 2015
9789264245303 (PDF) ; 9789264245327 (EPUB) ;9789264245273(print)

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This 2015 OECD Economic Survey of Brazil examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. The special chapters cover: Strengthening the industrial sector and Improving health policies.

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  • Basic Statistics of Brazil, 2014

    This Survey was prepared in the Economics Department by Jens Arnold, Yuki Murakami (ELS), Matheus Bueno and Sónia Araújo under the supervision of Pierre Beynet.Research assistance was provided by Anne Legendre and secretarial assistance by Sylvie Ricordeau.The Survey was discussed at a meeting of the Economic and Development Review Committee on 14 September 2015.The Survey is published on the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD.

  • Executive summary
  • Assessment and recommendations
  • Progress in main structural reforms

    This table reviews action taken on recommendations from preceding Surveys. Recommendations that are new in this Survey are listed in the relevant chapters.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Thematic chapters

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    • Raising industrial performance

      Brazil’s economic growth will depend increasingly on productivity, as the scope for increasing labour participation has diminished. The industrial sector, where a few key structural reforms could unleash significant unexploited potential, can play a leading role in this respect. Industrial productivity has been low and stagnating, as weak policy settings have been responsible for high costs and incentive structures that have not been conducive to productivity gains. Taxes are high and compliance costs generated by a fragmented system of indirect taxes are a key driver of costs. Infrastructure bottlenecks, due to many years of low infrastructure investment, drive up transport and logistics costs for industrial companies, in particular with respect to industrial exports. Labour costs and difficulties in contract enforcement have also been concerns for industrial firms. Partly as a result of weak competitive pressures and high trade protection, Brazil has not benefited from the productivity gains associated with global trends that have shaped industrial production elsewhere, including a growing fragmentation of the value chain, the rising integration of the economy into international trade and a fluid reallocation of resources across firms. Innovation performance has also been held back by a lack of competition. The costs and benefits of targeted policy interventions for specific sectors are hard to ascertain in the absence of systematic and regular policy evaluations, which would allow a better focus on the more effective policy measures.

    • Improving public health services

      Brazil has made remarkable progress in health over the last decades and improved access to healthcare has reduced inequalities. The backbone of Brazil’s success is the public Unified Health System (SUS), which entitles every Brazilian citizen to integrated healthcare free of charge. The SUS is facing severe capacity constraints, leading to long waiting times for specialised medical services, and access to medicines and specialist care can be difficult, particularly in poorer areas. A complex governance structure involving several levels of government is complicating an efficient provision of healthcare provision. To facilitate access to health care, Brazil should train more doctors and nurses, especially in family medicine, and strengthen incentives for them to move into underserved areas. Explicit targets for expanding capacity to reduce waiting times could also help to ease difficulties in access. Improving the governance of the system requires strengthening the role of regional networks and a better co-ordination of health care services, especially beyond primary care. Improving performance indicators and strengthening incentives to meet targets could lead to efficiency improvements at all levels of care. As Brazil's population ages, public health spending is set to increase and the associated challenges could best be anticipated by providing more home-based long-term care services for the elderly under the SUS.

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