WP 16: Rentier income and mass-based financialisation: the limits of redistributive policies during the Pink Tide in Brazil

The arti­cle aims to exa­mi­ne the role of the ren­ti­ers in the dis­tri­bu­ti­ve con­flict in a periphe­ral finan­ci­a­li­sed eco­nomy, focu­sing on the case of Bra­zil. To do so, it esti­ma­tes, for the peri­od betwe­en 2000 and 2019, an expan­ded func­ti­o­nal dis­tri­bu­ti­on of inco­me that inclu­des not only wages and pro­fits but also ren­ti­er and govern­ment inco­me. It also pro­vi­des an inter­pre­ta­ti­on of the poli­ti­cal eco­nomy deter­mi­nants of the move­ments of the dif­fe­rent sha­res of inco­me. Such an effort con­tri­bu­tes both to the ongoing effort to analy­se the role of ren­ti­ers in Glo­bal South coun­tri­es and to the extant lite­ra­tu­re on finan­ci­a­li­sa­ti­on in periphe­ral eco­no­mi­es. Spe­ci­fi­cally, it shows that the redis­tri­bu­ti­ve effort under­ta­ken by the Wor­kers’ Party govern­ment (2000–2016) could not incre­a­se the wage sha­re of inco­me, as the esta­blish­ment of mass-based finan­ci­a­li­sa­ti­on impli­ed a growing trans­fer of inco­me from wor­ker hou­seholds to ren­ti­ers – a pro­cess of finan­ci­al expro­pri­a­ti­on. The Bra­zi­li­an expe­ri­en­ce high­lights the plas­ti­city of ren­ti­er inco­me and the chal­len­ges to redu­cing ine­qua­lity in incre­a­sin­gly finan­ci­a­li­sed contexts.