Creating Academic Economics in Brazil: The Ford Foundation and the Beginnings of ANPEC

20 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2015

Date Written: June 12, 2014


The 1960s saw the beginning of an effort to improve professional standards in Brazilian academia through cooperation with a few North American institutions, in the context of an important and controversial set of agreements between the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In the case of economics, the Ford Foundation was especially relevant, providing substantial funding for the creation of the first graduate programs in the field in Brazil. An important moment in this process took place in 1973 with the creation of ANPEC, an association of graduate programs in economics whose purpose was to organize and stimulate institutional interaction among its members. ANPEC is still today the most important association for academic economics in Brazil, exercising leadership through both its annual meetings and a national unified exam for admission in graduate programs in the field. The paper explores archival material from the period 1964-74 held at the Ford Foundation, which illuminates both the interaction between representatives of the Foundation and of different Brazilian academic institutions, and the strategy pursued by the former in order to develop the economics profession in the country. We thus seek to contribute to a better understanding of the conflicting motivations that lay behind the creation of ANPEC, and of the effects that the association would have on the emerging graduate programs in Brazil.

Keywords: ANPEC, Ford Foundation, USAID, FGV, IPE/USP

JEL Classification: B20, A14, A23

Suggested Citation

Fernandez, Ramon Garcia and Suprinyak, Carlos Eduardo, Creating Academic Economics in Brazil: The Ford Foundation and the Beginnings of ANPEC (June 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Ramon Garcia Fernandez

UFABC ( email )

R. Arcturus, 3
São Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo 09606-070

Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak (Contact Author)

Cedeplar/UFMG ( email )

Av. Antonio Carlos, 6627
Belo Horizonte-MG, 31270-901


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