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|Title:||Uncertainty and Inequality: The Case of Northeast Brazil|
|Author(s):||Sarmento, Osvaldo De Moraes|
|Department / Program:||Economics|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Abstract:||This study addresses four problems. First, it identifies some of the most important variables which cause inequalities within a socioeconomic system among its economic agents and among its several regions. Second, it develops a model for the purpose of analyzing inequalities. Third, it applies the model to interpret the past and present economic situation of Northeast Brazil. Finally, it considers certain policies aimed at the elimination of inequalities between the two polar regions in Brazil, that is, the Northeast and Southeast.
The study focuses primarily on the combined effects of uncertainty and risk-aversion on the economic behavior of the individuals and concludes that these variables are an important source of economic inequality. The analysis is carried through on the assumption that the individual will choose his level of economic activity so as to maximize his Von Neumann utility function. This utility function is concave, and furthermore it presents a non-increasing Arrow-Pratt measure of absolute risk-aversion.
In addition to the usual economic variables, the study considers also certain socio-political variables which in many cases may magnify the effects of economic variables on wealth distribution. Thus, the analysis as a whole may be thought of as a blend of the theory of uncertainty--which is a generalization of the well-established neoclassical approach to the decision-making process--and of institutional variables not commonly found in orthodox economics.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-14|