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Agriculture and Industry in Brazil is a study of the economics of Brazilian agriculture and industry, with a special focus on the importance of innovation to productivity growth. Albert Fishlow and José Eustáquio Ribeiro Vieira Filho examine technological change in Brazil, highlighting the role of public policy in building institutions and creating an innovation-oriented environment.
Fishlow and Vieira Filho tackle the theme of innovation from various angles. They contrast the relationship between state involvement and the private sector in key parts of the Brazilian economy and compare agricultural expansion with growth in the oil and aviation sectors. Fishlow and Vieira Filho argue that modern agriculture is a knowledge-intensive industry and its success in Brazil stems from public institution building. They demonstrate how research has played a key role in productivity growth, showing how prudent innovation policies can leverage knowledge not only within a particular company but also across whole sectors of the economy. The book discusses whether and how Brazil can serve as a model for other middle-income countries eager to achieve higher growth and a more egalitarian distribution of income. An important contribution to comparative, international, and development economics, Agriculture and Industry in Brazil shows how the public success in agriculture became a prototype for advance elsewhere.
Fishlow and Vieira Filho highlight the relationship between science, technology, and productivity based on learning and institutional processes. Embrapa, Petrobras, and Embraer are three cases of institutional innovation in Brazil. This book fills an important gap in the international literature on economics and innovation. — Eliseu Roberto de Andrade Alves, founder and former president of Embrapa
This book’s treatment of the importance of innovation in the Brazilian agricultural sector and the role that Embrapa played in that innovation is extremely interesting, important, and original. — Steven M. Helfand, University of California, Riverside
While its economic progress has been erratic and uneven, Brazil has achieved world-class status in several fields of agriculture, in deep sea petroleum extraction, and in relatively small airline aircraft. In each of these areas to a good extent the success has been the fruit of government-established institutions designed to do R&D and other activities needed to advance technology. This book describes these developments in detail and depth. It is a fascinating story. — Richard Nelson, professor emeritus, Columbia University
This volume provides a fresh and invaluable perspective on the country’s development process. The book sheds new light on the historical role of agriculture in Brazilian development and, most importantly, on its recent resurgence as one of the most dynamic sectors in the country. It argues convincingly that recent agricultural expansion was technologically intensive and therefore different from commodity booms of the past. The book goes on to examine the role of the state in other areas of Brazil’s long-term development. This volume is bound to become a key reference in future studies on technological change driving expansion of the Brazilian economy. — Rodrigo R. Soares, Columbia University
This book will best serve specialists who focus on Brazilian development, economic historians, and economists…Recommended. ― Choice
About the Author
Albert Fishlow is professor emeritus at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. His many publications include Starting Over: Brazil Since 1985 (2011).
José Eustáquio Ribeiro Vieira Filho is currently program director of the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply. He is on leave from his tenured position as a senior researcher at the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA-Brazil).