The panel depicts real output per capita among the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. B, R, I & S were ‘pulled’ by China´s growth after joining the WTO in 2001, with Brazil, again, taking less advantage than the others. Russia´s transition from communism is clear. Also notable is the greater impact of the 2008 crisis in Russia relative to the other BRICS. As Lars Christensen has argued, that magnified effect is the result of Russia´s wrong monetary policy strategy of pegging the exchange rate when oil prices tanked in the second half of 2008.
The charts below compare Brazil with Chile and Mexico for a longer period. Note the ‘synchronous’ but mediocre performance of Brazil and Mexico and the Chilean ‘take-off’ after the early 1980s reforms. Note that in the case of Chile the Asia crisis of 1997/98 significantly reduced its growth trend, partly recouped with the ‘China effect’ after 2001.