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The Real Story of Brazil’s Pension Reform

July 11, 2019

The surprising first-round approval of Brazil’s pension reform by a margin of 71 votes above the 308 needed to take the constitutional amendment to the second and final vote at the Lower House has left many analysts scratching their heads. How is it that a controversial and usually unpopular reform everywhere in the world wound up with significant support both in the Brazilian Congress and among the population at large, including by stirring street demonstrations in its favor? There are a few competing theories out there, but I posit that the Brazilian outcome was mainly the result of...

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