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Centre of Latin American Studies

Pedro Mendes Loureiro

Dr Pedro Mendes Loureiro

Lecturer in Latin American Studies and PhD Director, CLAS
+44 (0)1223 335394

PhD in Economics – SOAS, University of London

MSc in Economics – University of Campinas (Unicamp, Brazil)

BA in Economics (minor in Social Sciences) – Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG, Brazil)


I am primarily a political economist, but at the heart of my work is a commitment to interdisciplinarity and pluralism, with interest ranging wide across the social sciences. My research encompasses different aspects of the political economy of Latin America, focusing on inequality, structural change and development strategies. In particular, my recent work has assessed how the strategies of the ‘Pink Tide’ governments – the left-of-centre parties that were in power in Latin America roughly during the 2000s – were capable or not of upgrading the structures of their economies, reducing multidimensional inequality, and launching an inclusive, sustainable process of development. This encompasses an assessment, comparison and critique of the development strategies from different vantage points, ranging from their approach to economic transformation to the class politics that sustained and constrained these strategies. Currently, I am also working on how inequality in Brazil is structured in and through class, race and gender, and how this has changed or not during the Workers’ Party (PT) governments.

One of my other central research interests is the measurement of inequality. From a theoretical and statistical perspective, I am working on decompositions and extensions of (multidimensional) inequality indices, as well as on the relationship between the measurement of inequality and social choice theory. I was also part of a team, alongside colleagues from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Oxfam, that developed a Multidimensional Inequality Framework based on Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach, which is now being piloted in different countries. I am particularly interested in applications of these frameworks in a comparative perspective.

Another ongoing research project of mine is studying the economy as a complex system. In a collaboration with physicists, economists and philosophers, we have been promoting a dialogue between the physics of complexity and political economy, with two key objectives. The first is to understand and model the economy as a non-linear, complex and adaptive system, stressing the role of technological innovation and the dynamics of the profit rate. The second is to explore the differences between a modern capitalist economy and other complex systems.

I am also interested in heterodox frameworks in economics (Marxist, post-Keynesian, Institutionalist, the Capabilities approach), class analysis, financialisation, state theory, Brazilian economic history, interdisciplinary and pluralist approaches, and mixed methods in the social sciences.

Research interests

  • Structural change, inequality dynamics and state forms in Latin America
  • Political economy of development strategies in Latin America
  • Multi-dimensional inequality measurement and policy solutions
  • The economy as a complex system
  • Pluralist, interdisciplinary and mixed methods approaches in the social sciences
  • Political economy and state theory
  • The capabilities approach
  • Brazilian economic history


  • Loureiro, P. M. forthcomting. Social Structure and Distributive Policies under the PT Governments: a Poverty-reducing Variety of Neoliberalism. Latin American Perspectives.
  • Loureiro, P. M. online first. Class inequality and capital accumulation in Brazil, 1992-2013. Cambridge Journal of Economics.
  • Loureiro, P. M. and Saad-Filho, A. 2019. The Limits of Pragmatism: The Rise and Fall of the Brazilian Workers’ Party (2002–2016). Latin American Perspectives, 46(1), 66-84.
    A modified version of the article above will be published as follows: Loureiro, P. M. and Saad-Filho, A., 2020. The Limits of Pragmatism: The Rise and Fall of the Brazilian Workers’ Party (2002–2016). In: Ellner, S. ed. The Fate of Latin America’s Progressive Governments: Pragmatic Responses and Consequences. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 89-112.
  • Loureiro, P. M. 2018. Reformism, class conciliation and the Pink Tide. In: Ystanes, M. and Stronen, I. eds. The social life of economic inequalities in contemporary Latin America: decades of change. Cheltenham: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Ribeiro, L. C., de Deus, L. G., Loureiro, P. M., Albuquerque, E. M. 2018. Changing levels of self-organization: how a capitalist economy differs from other complex systems. Textos para Discussão do Cedeplar, 581, 1-28.
  • Ribeiro, L. C., de Deus, L. G., Loureiro, P. M., Albuquerque, E. M. 2017. A network model for the complex behavior of the rate of profit: exploring a simulation model with overlapping technological revolutions. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 43, 51-61.
  • Ribeiro, L. C., de Deus, L. G., Loureiro, P. M., Albuquerque, E. M. 2017. Profits and fractal properties: notes on Marx, countertendencies and simulation models. Review of Political Economy, 29(2), 282-306.
  • Loureiro, P. M. 2017. Book review: Schneider, M., Pottenger, M., King, J. E. 2016. The distribution of wealth: growing inequality? Economic Issues, 22(2), 124-126.
  • Oliveira, T. D., Golgher, A. B., Loureiro, P. M. 2016. Trajetórias de local de moradia, estudo e trabalho dos jovens brasileiros entre 2003 e 2011: uma análise de entropia. Revista Brasileira de Estudos Populacionais, 33(1), 31-52.
  • Loureiro, P. M. 2016. Book review: Fiorentini, R., Montani, G. 2012. The new global political economy: from crisis to supranational integration. Review of Keynesian Economics, 4(2), 231-234.
  • Godoy, M. M., Loureiro, P. M. 2010. Os Registros Paroquiais de Terras na história e na historiografia. História Econômica & História de Empresas, Campinas, 13(1), 95-132.


In the 2019/2020 academic year, I will be teaching sessions in the following papers:

  • MPhil in Latin American Studies modules
    • Capitalism and Society in Latin America
    • Development and Policy in Latin America
    • Interpretations of Latin America
    • Perspectives on Race in Latin America
    • Power and Protest: Social Movements and the State in Latin America
    • MPhil in Latin American Studies Core Course
  • Development Studies (MPhil)
    • Development Economics
  • POLIS (Undergraduate)
    • POL4F – Comparative Politics – Latin America: Brazil and Bolivia
  • Fitzwilliam College
    • Director of Studies: HSPS tripos, part II