INEQUALITY REDUCTION AND DEMOCRACY IN BRAZIL: THE INCLUSION OF OUTSIDERS
This article examines the path of economic inequality in Brazil under the current democratic period. It demonstrates that a mechanism of inclusion of outsiders sharply reduced economic inequality. The path of such mechanism is described as being deployed through two sequential phases: (i) in the transition to democracy, the introduction of paradigmatic changes in the model of Brazilian social policies, which had produced a big divide between insiders and outsiders since the 30s; (ii) under universal suffrage, the convergence of conservative and left-wing parties around the preferences of the beneficiaries of those policies, namely minimum wage as well as education and health policies. Such research results challenge the explanatory power of the median voter and the power of the theories of the Left. Instead, they suggest that exogenous changes introduced redistributive policies under a critical juncture, which in turn have given place to endogenous changes in which political competition played a key role.