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Brazilian fiscal structure: redistributive expenditures and regressive revenues

Grant number: 17/24614-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): April 27, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Public Policies
Principal Investigator:Marta Teresa da Silva Arretche
Grantee:Eduardo Alves Lazzari
Home Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07616-7 - CEM - Center for Metropolitan Studies, AP.CEPID
Associated scholarship(s):19/22469-7 - Regressive tax systems in unequal societies: the case of Brazil, BE.EP.DR


This project's question is: why the Brazilian fiscal structure resulted to combine progressively redistributive expenditures with a tax system that has become more regressive in the current democratic period? Limiting the analysis between 1987 and 2016, the justification to this project resides in the explanation of which political factors contributed for a contradictory design of the Brazilian fiscal structure, where expenditures diminish inequality, whereas revenues increase it. The bibliography offers three theoretical models that allow us to elaborate different hypothesis on why this design was adopted, in a way that methodologically we will answer to this question by using surveys, CEBRAP's Legislative Dataset, and case studies of legislative changes that increased the regressiveness of Brazil's taxes (Law 9,249/95), and failed attempts to increase the progressiveness of the same system (PEC 41/2003). (AU)