China_and_Brazil_Transitioning_from_the.pdf - China and Brazil Transitioning from the Middle-Income Trap to Sustainable Development A Sociological

China_and_Brazil_Transitioning_from_the.pdf - China and...

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China and Brazil: Transitioning from the Middle-Income Trap to Sustainable Development? A Sociological Perspective on Consumption, Inequality and the Middle-Income Trap Mariana Hase Ueta 1 Erick Tjong 2 Niklas Werner Weins 3 Augusto Frederico Junqueira Schmidt 4 1 PhD candidate at the University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. Master's Degree in Chinese Society and Public Policy from Fudan University, Shanghai, China and Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Campinas. Contact: [email protected] 2 Co-author of the World Bank Doing Business report. Dual Degree Master's in European and Asian relations from Sciences Po Paris, France and Fudan University, China, Bachelor degree in international relations from the University of São Paulo. Contact: [email protected] 3 Master's student at the Federal University of Technology, Curitiba, Brazil in the Post-Graduate Program in Technology and Society, Bachelor's in Economics and Politics of East Asia from Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany, Tongji University, Shanghai, China and UAM Mexico City, Mexico. Contact: [email protected] 4 Bachelor’s student in Civil Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Curitiba, Brazil and at the College of Civil Engineering at Tongji University, Shanghai, China. Contact: [email protected]
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Abstract China and Brazil, as emerging countries, share many challenges and opportunities for development. However, despite their similarities in terms of territorial dimension and income level, it is necessary to consider the specificities of each context to address the needs for sustainable development. Brazil is considered a typical case of an economy stuck in the Middle-Income Trap (Canuto, 2014). The country’s difficulties to move up the value chain and its extreme income inequality have a negative impact on economic growth and pose a serious threat for sustainable development (World Bank, 2004; Piketty, 2017). China, after decades of rising living standards and wealth generation, also has to deal with the increasing problem of inequality (Chen, 2013). On this matter, China could learn from the Brazilian experience to avoid the threat of falling into the Middle-Income Trap (Woo, 2016). Recently, both countries have been investing in domestic consumption as a way to prevent an economic slowdown (Dreger & Zhang, 2014). The present research carries out a comparative analysis on the policies adopted by each government to stimulate consumption and on their impacts on growth and income distribution. The expansion of consumption not only brings economic consequences, but it is also associated with environmental, resource-related and social justice issues. It is imperative to establish a dialogue between China and Brazil on the different paths for development, as both countries can learn from each other's experiences. The importance of learning and choosing the right paths cannot be overstated, as they will not only impact their own citizens, but will have global repercussions.
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