The Geographic Dynamics of Industry Employment in Brazilian Metropolitan Areas: Lessons for São Paulo


 Marcos Felipe Mendes Lopes


We discuss historic trends in large metropolitan areas in Brazil showing that manufacturing has decreased its share in the country but the movement was, in general, more intense in large metropolitan areas and particularly in the São Paulo metropolitan area (SPMA). This movement was more intense in the 1980s and in the first half of the 1990s. From mid 1990’s up to the end of the 2000s, the manufacturing share trend became flat. We speculate that the first period reflects the exhaustion of the process of import substitution that took place in the previous three decades (1950 to 1980). The second period, from 1993 to 2009, is representative of a new model of growth and the evidence that manufacturing share became flat is reinforcing the idea of a new period in terms of manufacturing employment. While concentration has risen from 1996 to 2005, it decreased again in the second half of the first decade of the 2000s. The SPMA reinvented itself very quickly from late 1970s to mid-2000s.

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