FGV Sao Paulo Law School leads international research consortium on wealth reproduction policies

This research project, which began in January 2024, is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and is expected to continue for the next four years.
Public Policy
22 April 2024
FGV Sao Paulo Law School leads international research consortium on wealth reproduction policies

The Nucleus for Law and Political Economy (NUDEP) at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo Law School, in collaboration with several universities across the world, has launched an ambitious research project to investigate public policies that facilitate or hinder the reproduction of wealth in different countries. Wealth reproduction policies are those that can reinforce (or change) the concentration of income, such as extra taxes on high incomes.

This research project, which began in January 2024, is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and is expected to continue for the next four years. Titled Politics of Wealth Reproduction (PoWR), the project arose from the observation of a consistent inequality bias in the development of public policies in different Western countries. This bias favors the interests of the richest citizens to the detriment of the poorest, accentuating income concentration and economic inequality. In Brazil, for example, the income of the richest 5% of people grew two to three times more than the average income of the other 95% of people between 2017 and 2022 (Gorbetti, 2024). The country’s situation is not an isolated case and follows a global trend that has been observed since the 1980s (Atkinson, 2015; Tanndal; Waldenström, 2018). In this context, the aim is to obtain a comparative understanding of how this favoring of the wealthiest citizens manifests itself in public policies and for what reasons.

The specific objective of the research is to identify how this bias manifests itself, based on the trajectory of policymakers, by appraising factors such as origin, access to education, ownership of property and financial assets, and the interaction between elites in each country. To this end, the project will use mixed methods for a comparative analysis covering countries in the Global North and South. Initially, data from 50 democracies will be collected and analyzed to examine things such as the characteristics of economy/finance ministers and the most relevant public policies for the reproduction of wealth adopted by them between 2005 and 2020. Subsequently, in-depth case studies will be carried out in four countries (Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany and South Africa), covering the same period. In the two research phases, a wide range of data will be collected, including the socioeconomic characteristics of policymakers, the institutional formulation of public policies and the implications of these policies for the wealthiest sections of the population. The researchers will use an integrated approach and data triangulation to offer a comprehensive explanation of the mechanisms underlying the reproduction of economic inequality.

The project is being carried out by a research consortium made up of the FGV Sao Paulo Law School, the Philipps University of Marburg (Germany), the University of Strathclyde (Scotland) and the University of Cape Town (South Africa). The research team is interdisciplinary, featuring researchers in the fields of politics, law and economics. The project has five main researchers: Professor Raquel Pimenta, from FGV’s Sao Paulo Law School, Despina Alexiadou, from the University of Strathclyde, Vimal Ranchhod, from the University of Cape Town, and Miquel Pellicer and Eva Wegner, both from the Philipps University of Marburg. The Brazilian team includes Iana Alves de Lima, who is doing a doctorate in public administration and government at FGV EAESP, and Paula Pagliari de Braud, who is studying for a master’s in sociology at the University of Sao Paulo. The group will hold its first in-person workshop at the FGV Sao Paulo Law School between June 17 and 19 of this year.

Esse site usa cookies

Nosso website coleta informações do seu dispositivo e da sua navegação e utiliza tecnologias como cookies para armazená-las e permitir funcionalidades como: melhorar o funcionamento técnico das páginas, mensurar a audiência do website e oferecer produtos e serviços relevantes por meio de anúncios personalizados. Para mais informações, acesse o nosso Aviso de Cookies e o nosso Aviso de Privacidade.