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Preview: Leonardo Monasterio's Blog

Leonardo Monasterio's Blog

Cliometrics, Development, and Regional Economics

Updated: 2018-01-15T16:27:02.186+00:00




Following the suggestions of Tyler Cowen, I went to Singapore. It's just like people say: clean, rich, multicultural, efficient and with great street food. Here's an ad that shows the main concerns of the locals. Kid's grades seem to be the main issue. I've never seen anything like this in Brazil.

Niemeyer & Kraftwerk


... for some strange reason they go well together.
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Brasilia in the 1960s.
A great slide show of Niemeyer and his works.
(FYI , I do enjoy living in Brasília. Check my guide. ) 

Blogs about the Brazilian economy


The "engrish" version of my blog in Portuguese has been pretty slow. I do apologize to my 3,474,685 English speaking readers for keeping you waiting for new posts. Meanwhile, I would like to share a couple of excellent blogs written by Brazilians:

A course on regional policy evaluation


I am teaching a course at UCB on the use of microeconometric tools (RCT, IV, Dif-in-Difs, PSM...) on regional policy evaluation. The textbooks are Introduction to Econometrics (Stock & Watson) and "Mostly Harmless Econometrics" (Angrist & Pischke).This is the reading list:ANGRIST, J.; PISCHKE, J. S. The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics. Journal of Economic Perspectives, v. 24, n. 2, p. 3–30, 2010. BURSZTYN, L.; COFFMAN, L. C. The Schooling Decision: Family Preferences, Intergenerational Conflict, and Moral Hazard in the Brazilian Favelas. Journal of Political Economy, v. 120, n. 3, p. 359 - 397, 2012. (Não é regional, mas é muito bom mesmo e eu precisava de um texto de randomized control trial). BUSILLO, F.; MUCCIGROSSO, T.; PELLEGRINI, G.; TAROLA, O.; TERRIBILE, F. Measuring the effects of European regional policy on economic growth: a regression discontinuity approach. . [S.l.]: Working Paper. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 16 ago. 2012. , 2010. CHAGAS, A. L. S.; TONETO, R.; AZZONI, C. R. A Spatial Propensity Score Matching Evaluation of the Social Impacts of Sugarcane Growing on Municipalities in Brazil. International Regional Science Review, v. 35, n. 1, p. 48–69, 2012 CRISCUOLO, C.; MARTIN, R.; OVERMAN, H.; REENEN, J. VAN. The causal effects of an industrial policy. . [S.l.]: National Bureau of Economic Research. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 21 ago. 2012. , 2012. FALCK, O.; FRITSCH, M.; HEBLICH, S. Bohemians, human capital, and regional economic growth. [S.l.]: CESifo, Center for Economic Studies; Ifo Institute for economic research, 2009. FALCK, O.; HEBLICH, S.; KIPAR, S. Local industrial policies difference-in-differences evidence from a cluster-oriented policy. 36th annual conference of EARIE (European association for research in industrial economics) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in September. Anais... [S.l: s.n.]. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 16 ago. 2012. , 2009. NUNN, N. The Long-Term Effects of Africa’s Slave Trades. Quarterly Journal of Economics, v. 123, n. 1, p. 139–176, 2008. RESENDE, G. M. Measuring Micro- and Macro-Impacts of Regional Development Policies: The Case of the Northeast Regional Fund (FNE) Industrial Loans in Brazil, 2000–2006. Regional Studies, n. Forthcoming, p. 1-19, 2012.BTW,  Inforegio, an European Union website, has a very good introduction on counterfactual evaluation of regional policies.  [...]

Stuart Mill's on Liberty in one work of artI


I spot this at the University of Brasília (Nov, 2011) and took a picture. The work is not signed:
It says: take good care of your "red dot"

The author expands his point (no pun intended) in another work nearby:
It says "Everyone is born with one *beep*. Take good care of yours. I take care of mine." .

Salaries of Brazilian civil servants on-line


A new Transparency Bill has put personal monthly salaries of all Executive civil servants available on-line. It is also possible to download a huge csv file. Judiciary and Legislative have not yet released info on their civil servants.
Check Blog do Girino (in Portuguese) for a exploratory analysis of the data.

I am alive!


The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. I am back and I will do my best to keep a regular flow of posts.

I am not optimistic about the Brazilian economy in the long term #1


Here in Madrid people ask me frequently about my personal views on the future of Brazil. I do not have anything particularly interesting or insightful to say, but I share the concerns of many fellow economists that there are major problems ahead:
  • The huge demographic bonus is going to end soon: here and here;
  • The pension system is insane: here (pdf) and here (pdf in Portuguese) and there are no signs of major changes.
(to be continued...)

They say "social responsibility", I say price discrimination


Angélica Grill, a all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet (rodízio) in São Paulo, offers a 50% discount for people that went through bariatric surgery.  In Portuguese: In English (Google Translation of the page).
(HT, Prosa Econômica)

Statue of Christ the Redeemer (Rio Brazil) Point of View


.Here. Despite the evidence, this is not a travel blog

My take on New York Times "36 hours in Brasilia"


There is little overlap between my "Brasilia for Tourists" post and the NYT recommendations. My comments are in blue. Friday 4 p.m.1) CONGRESS WITH NIEMEYER Start in the heart of the “Pilot Plan,” the original planned city, where three Niemeyer-designed buildings house the three branches of Brazilian government around Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Square). They’re all classic, curvy Niemeyer: the Planalto Palace, where Brazil’s first female president works; the Federal Supreme Court; and towering over both, two sky-scraping office towers and the accompanying convex and concave domes where the National Congress sits. Stroll up the esplanade past the pale green ministry buildings to one of the most recent works by Niemeyer (who is still at it at age 103): the 2006 Honestino Guimarães National Museum (SCS, Lote 2; 55-61-3325-5220) where you can see the work of contemporary artists from around the world. Agree! 6 p.m.2) SUNSET FROM A SHRINE The sunset in Brasília is beautiful from just about anywhere, but the best place of all to catch it is at the Ermida Dom Bosco (QI 29, Lago Sul), a Niemeyer-designed shrine across the artificial Lake Paranoá from the Pilot Plan. The lookout attracts a daily crowd that melts away once the sun is gone. Don’t follow the masses: stick it out with the stray couples (and coconut water vendors) and catch the stunning oranges and reds and lavenders that fill the sky about 20 minutes later. Agree! 8 p.m.3) BAR HOPPING The most popular evening activity for all local residents is to eat, drink and talk at the hyper-social bars that serve young and old, straight and gay, beer-lovers and caipirinha aficionados alike. Perhaps the most traditional of all the watering holes is 55-year-old Beirute (CLS 109, Bloco A; 55-61-3244-1717), seamlessly mixing the older regulars with a young gay crowd; the food, as you might expect, runs Middle Eastern, including the football-shaped minced-meat and bulgur snacks known in Portuguese as kibes (from 3.50 reais, or $2 at 1.7 reais to the dollar). Two other favorites are Libanus (CLS 206, Bloco C, Loja 36; 55-61-3244-9795), younger and a bit more raucous, and Boteco (CLS 406, Bloco D, Loja 35; 55-61-3443-4344), a spirited Rio de Janeiro-style bar erected, in classic Brasília juxtaposition, across the parking lot from a supermarket. Waiters bring around trays bearing snacks to choose from; the most famous is the coxinha de camarão (7.90 reais), a shrimp version of Brazil’s staple bar snack, chicken croquettes. Well, I hate the food at Beirute. Libanus is just ok. Boteco is not really a "Rio-style bar". In Rio, traditional botecos (with small "b") are much simpler and popular places that play a similar social role of British pubs. Cairipinhas at Brasília's Boteco are remarkably well done and not expensive at all. BTW, my favorite botecos in Brasilia are Piauí (403 Sul, bloco B - loja 20) for drinking/atmosphere and Amigão (food). The latter was Tyler Cowen's favorite! But these places are not for everyone: English is not spoken and the toilets are quite dirty.Saturday 9 a.m.4) SOUPIE, ANYONE? “Soupie” is how the Brazilians pronounce SUP, the abbreviation for stand-up paddle surfing, a sport involving you, a surfboard and a paddle. And you’ll need to pronounce it the way they do if you want the staff member at the gate of the Clube Naval (SCES, Trecho 2, Conjunto 13) to let you through to the lakeside base of Clube do Vento (55-61-8124-8596; For a mere 25 reais, you’ll soon be paddling out into Lake Paranoá toward the stunning Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge with its three criss-crossing arches, [...]

Homicides in Rio: a review of the data


I am so sorry. Back in February I wrote about the sharp fall of the homicide rate in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Daniel Cerqueira, an IPEA economist , has just found out that the data is seriously flawed (in Portuguese). Check Graph 4.2.  From 2006 on, there was a huge increase of violent deaths with "unknown causes" and the victims have demographic profiles strangely similar to the victims of homicides. True, homicide rates have fallen, but it was not as sharp as the official data shows.

The Stature of Brazilians (1957-1987)


It seems that the 80's crisis hit the biological living standards of Brazilians. Shikida, Nogueról  and I are writing an updated version of our  paper using new data. The graph below show the heights of adult males by year of birth. [...]

Brazilian States Renamed for Countries with Similar GDPs


Here by The Economist. Back in 2007 Davi Zell and I tried to make a similar map. But I must admit that the Economist one is much better. (The original idea, as far as I know, comes from strange maps.)

Is manufacturing indispensable?


Chang versus Bhagwati. I voted "No".

World Cup in Brazil - a simple proposal


The event will cost about USD 15 billion to Brazilian taxpayers. Proposal: transfer the World Cup to England. Half of the money saved would be shared among 100,000 winners of a national lottery. Each would receive USD 75,000 and would receive the patriotic mission of cheering for Brazil in Wembley.
The other half of the money would be spent in extravagant stuff, such as health and education.

Statistically useless jobs


XKCD provides the perfect cartoon:



-Natural experiments that should not be replicated :The long-run impact of bombing Vietnam; (HT Rafael);
- Sometimes culture matters: Anti-Semitic during the Black Death were most likely to acts of violence against Jews in interwar Germany);
- Journals: advices to editors and authors (Via Marginal Revolution. BTW, how come someone disagrees with the fact that MR is the best Economics blog ?!?!?);
- The Economist on the Brazilian North-east . Accurate facts, but the tone is a little bit too optimistic.

Bureaucratics - Pictures of civil servants all over the world


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Bureaucratics - Images by Jan Banning
(HT João Veloso).

Xie Xie, China


Total exports by Brazilian region in US$ (1995=100)
(image) (HT Batistuta).

Cliometrics and regional economics news


(I would like to apologize to my 1,232,543 readers. I've been too busy to post in the last couple of weeks).