The Kuznets Curve in Brazil, 1850-2010

Abstract: Using social tables and modern household surveys, this article explores Brazil's income distribution from a historical perspective (1850-2010), examining its relationship with economic development and the factors driving inequality changes. It shows that Brazil's inequality was not always high, but rather followed a Kuznets curve, increasing from the early 20th century, reaching a high plateau between the 1970s and 1990s and declining thereafter. Notably, results highlight the importance of both economic and political factors for enabling the completion of the second Kuznets curve phase.