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The role of financial flows and external savings in economic development: three theoretical approaches in the Brazilian literature




capital flows, external financing, external savings, growth, development


Throughout the analysis of the Brazilian economic history, one easily notes the complex association between external financing and the components of economic development (taken as growth, structural change and sustainable evolution of external accounts). Firstly, this article explores how these theoretical associations are made by the main theories in the Brazilian economic literature: the liberal / conventional and the new-developmentalist. In both of them, the concept of “external savings” plays a central role, although being predicted to generate the very opposite effects. Secondly, based on the contributions of other heterodox authors, it seeks to present some theoretical underpinnings as constituting of an alternative approach, which could be called the “scarce foreign exchange” approach. The purpose is to define the contours of a research program which is consistent with the most recent empirical findings in this field and, thus, to contribute to the advancement of the Brazilian critical economic theory.


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Applied Social Sciences