Workers’ Indebtedness and Rentier Squeeze: rentier income, profit of enterprise, and wages in Brazil (2000–2017)

The pur­po­se of this paper is to loca­te ren­ti­ers in the Bra­zi­li­an dis­tri­bu­ti­ve con­flict. A ren­ti­er inco­me sha­re is esti­ma­ted and com­pa­red to the sha­res of wages and pro­fit of enter­pri­se for the peri­od betwe­en 2000 and 2017. The esti­ma­ti­on allows for an analy­sis of the role played by inte­rest pay­ments out of wage inco­me and pro­fits in the tri­par­ti­te func­ti­o­nal inco­me dis­tri­bu­ti­on, as well as an exa­mi­na­ti­on of the tra­jec­tory of the inco­me of the finan­ci­al firms. From 2004 to 2011, pres­su­res from rising wages were shif­ted from func­ti­o­ning capi­ta­lists to ren­ti­ers and from the lat­ter back to wor­kers, as ren­ti­ers mana­ged to com­pen­sa­te for the fall of pro­perty inco­me recei­ved from func­ti­o­ning capi­ta­lists with a rising inte­rest inco­me coming from wor­kers. In the peri­od betwe­en 2012 and 2013, howe­ver, ren­ti­ers exhaus­ted their abi­lity to pass on the dis­tri­bu­ti­ve pres­su­res to wor­kers and expe­ri­en­ced an inco­me squeeze.

Keywords: Finan­ci­a­li­sa­ti­on, ren­ti­er inco­me sha­re, func­ti­o­nal inco­me dis­tri­bu­ti­on, Bra­zi­li­an economy