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Centre of Latin American Studies


Dr Pedro Mendes Loureiro

Associate Professor of Latin American Studies, CLAS and POLIS
PhD Director, CLAS


I am primarily a political economist, but my work is deeply committed to interdisciplinarity and methodological pluralism and my interests range wide across the social sciences. Substantively, I focus mainly on inequality and on development strategies, seeking to help combat social inequalities in all their forms and wherever they might arise.

One of my lines of research is a critique of development strategies in Latin America. I have been assessing to what extent 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 a sustainable process of development. I explore these 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 the dynamics of class, race and gender inequality in Brazil and on how the commodification of social reproduction has reshaped intersectional inequality.

More recently, I have been researching the expansion of incarceration and the prison system in Brazil. An ongoing, mixed-methods collaborative project with Graham Denyer Willis, this investigation asks what explains the explosion in the number of prisons, prisoners, and prison workers since re-democratisation, and with what effects. As the country went from 90,000 to 900,000 prisoners over the last 30 years, we ask: what has led to this rise, what has legitimated it, who profits from it, and how is it being contested? This project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

Another of my central research interests concerns frameworks to tackle and measure multidimensional inequalities. I developed, alongside colleagues from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Oxfam, a Multidimensional Inequality Framework (MIF) based on Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach, which is being used in different initiatives. Drawing on the MIF, we also collaboratively developed the Inequality Policy Mix Toolkit (IPMT), for GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), which helps practitioners and policymakers devise combinations of policies that are more effective than individual ones in tackling inequalities. From a more theoretical perspective, I have worked on decompositions and extensions of (multidimensional) inequality indices, as well as on the relationship between the measurement of inequality and social choice.

Other works of mine have dealt with aspects of the history of Latin American social thought, economic history, state-capital relations and the political economy of climate change, and complexity and the social sciences.

Teaching, Supervision and Direction of Studies

For undergraduate studies, I lecture, supervise and direct studies for the Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) and History and Politics Triposes. I lecture on POL4: Comparative Politics (Latin America module) and the new third-year paper, POL20: The Politics of Latin America (together with Carsten Andreas-Schulz and Graham Denyer Willis). In 2023-24, I am also lecturing for POL18: The Politics of the International Economy. I regularly supervise for POL1 (The Modern State and its Alternatives), POL4 (Comparative Politics), POL5/19 (Themes and Issues in Politics and International Relations), POL9 (Conceptual Issues and Texts in Politics and International Relations), and UG Dissertations. Until September 2023 I also directed studies for HSPS and for the Politics side of History and Politics at Fitzwilliam College.

Most of my postgraduate teaching and supervision happens through CLAS, where I direct or collaborate in the following modules: Capitalism and Society in Latin America, Development and Policy in Latin America, Interpretations of Latin America, and MPhil in Latin American Studies Core Course. I have also taught Development Economics for the Centre of Development Studies (CDS) MPhil and I regularly supervise students across CLAS, POLIS and CDS. I am currently PhD Director at CLAS and have been the MPhil Director in the past.

PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD students working broadly in a political economy tradition, especially but not only in relation to Latin America. Topics of particular interest to me are inequality dynamics, development strategies, and state forms.


Loureiro, P. M. 2022. The sensitivity of the Gini to changes in group sizes and mean incomes: an extension of ANOGI applied to Brazil. EconomiA, 23(1), 123-142

Duygan, M., Kachi, A., Loureiro, P. M., Olivera, T. D., Rinscheid, A., Stutzer, R. 2021. Black coal, thin ice: the discursive legitimisation of Australian coal in the age of climate change. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8(178), 1-9

Loureiro, P. M. 2022. O neoliberalismo redutor da pobreza no Brasil e sua crise. In: Singer, A. et al. eds. O Brasil no inferno global: capitalismo e democracia fora dos trilhos. São Paulo: Editora da FFLCH/USP, 211-247

Fine, B., Loureiro, P. M. 2021. From social choice to inequality-decomposition: In the spirit of Arrow and Atkinson by way of Sen and Shorrocks. International Review of Applied Economics, 35(5): 765-791

Loureiro, P. M., Rugitsky, F., Saad-Filho, A. 2021. Celso Furtado and the Myth of Economic Development: Rethinking Development from Exile. Review of Political Economy, 33(1), 28-43 

Loureiro, P. M. 2020. Capital accumulation and class inequality in Brazil, 1992-2013. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 44(1), 181-206

Loureiro, P. M. 2020. Social Structure and Distributive Policies under the PT Governments: A Poverty-Reducing Variety of Neoliberalism. Latin American Perspectives, 47(2), 65–83

(A modified version of the article above) Loureiro, P. M. 2022. A Poverty-Reducing Variety of Neoliberalism? The Workers’ Party Distributive Policies. In: Saad-Filho, A. et al. 2022.  Neoliberalism or Developmentalism: the PT governments in the Eye of the Storm. Leiden: Brill, 292-317.

Fine, B., Loureiro, P. M. 2020. A note on the relationship between additive separability and decomposability in measuring income inequality. Review of Social Economy, 80(4), 550-565

Loureiro, P. M., 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) Loureiro, P. M., Saad-Filho, A. 2019. The Limits of Pragmatism: The Rise and Fall of the Brazilian Workers’ Party (2002–2016). In: Ellner, S. ed. Latin America’s Pink Tide: Breakthroughs and Shortcomings. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 89-112

Loureiro, P. M. 2018. Reformism, class conciliation and the Pink Tide: material gains and their limits. In: Ystanes, M. and Stronen, I. eds. The social life of economic inequalities in contemporary Latin America: decades of change. Cheltenham: Palgrave Macmillan, 35-56

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

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

Godoy, M. M., Loureiro, P. M. 2010. Os Registros Paroquiais de Terras na história e na historiografia. História Econômica & História de Empresas, 13(1), 95-132

Other academic work, policy-related

Multidimensional Inequality Framework (MIF) (part of the developing team)

Inequality Policy Mix Toolkit (IPMT) (developed collaboratively for GIZ)

Media appearances, interviews and blogs

Interviews, podcasts and opinion pieces in the following outlets: Standpoint Magazine, PolitiQueijo, ENA: Instistute for Alternative Policies, Folha de São Paulo, Talking Politics, A-ID: Agenda for International Development, Central Banking, Crypto News, New York Times, Kristeligt Dagblad, O Estado de São Paulo (Estadão), Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Phenomenal World, Missing Perspectives.