Document Type

Working Paper

Date of This Version



This paper challenges the conventional view that where there is a political elite, economic development will proceed along lines that sacrifice future generations for the benefit of the current ruling class. We find that shortfalls in the balance of payments will cause those in authority to promote activities that encourage tourism as a solution to balance of payments deficit. The vehicle for generating tourism is the provision of public goods. More traditional paths toward development particularly cattle ranching are displaced by tourist attractions. While motivated by myopic self-interest, the pursuit of public goods reduces the amount of debt transferred to future generations and thereby serves to redistribute wealth inter-temporally. Brazil over the period 1965 until 1998 is used as a test case.

Working Paper Number


Included in

Economics Commons