Aldo Musacchio

Associate Professor of Business in the Brandeis International Business School

Director of the Brazil and Latin America Initiatives

Aldo Musacchio is an associate professor of Strategy and International Business at IBS and Director of the Brazil and Latin America Initiatives. He is a specialist on strategy and corporate governance in state-owned multinationals; corporate governance in Latin America; BRICS as an economic bloc; economics and policy in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Iceland and other countries.
Prof. Musacchio teaches Competition and Strategy and Strategy in Emerging Markets for graduate students and Competitive Strategy for undergraduate students.

His research focuses on the internationalization strategies of state-owned enterprises and the innovation behavior of large multinationals with government financial support. In his book, Reinventing State Capitalism: Leviathan in Business, Brazil and Beyond (Harvard Press, 2014), Prof. Musacchio and his coauthor Sergio G. Lazzarini study the corporate governance reforms of state-owned enterprises around the world and look into the pitfalls of such reforms. In this book Aldo Musacchio and Lazzarini also study the advantages and disadvantages firms get when they receive financial support from their home country governments. Additionally, Prof. Musacchio consults for multilateral agencies such as the OECD and the Inter-American Development Bank on corporate governance reform in state-owned firms. Aldo Musacchio also consults for multinationals expanding into emerging and frontier markets.

Before joining IBS Prof. Aldo Musacchio taught at Harvard Business School, as part of the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit (BGIE). He is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), in the Development of the American Economy program. Musacchio has a B.A. in economics (with highest honors) from ITAM, in Mexico, and a Ph. D. in Economic History of Latin America from Stanford University.

In 2012, Aldo Musacchio won the Manuel Espinosa Yglesias Prize for his research on foreign banks in Mexico (together with Stephen Haber), was awarded the 2012 Prize for Professional/Academic Meirt by the Alumni Association of ITAM (EX-ITAM) and the European Banking History Association’s Feldman Prize for the best paper by a young scholar. In 2007 he was selected as one of the “30 most promising professionals in their thirties (30 promesas en los treintas)” by Mexican business magazine Expansion. Prof. Musacchio is also a member of the board of trustees of LASPAU: Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing higher education in the Americas.

Reinventing State Capitalism

Corporate Governance

Latin America Economy

Emerging Markets

Economic Sociology

Corporate Strategy

Reinventing State Capitalism: Leviathan in Business, Brazil and Beyond

The wave of liberalization that swept world markets in the 1980s and 90s altered the ways that governments manage their economies. Reinventing State Capitalism analyzes the rise of new species of state capitalism in which governments interact with private investors either as majority or minority shareholders in publicly-traded corporations or as financial backers of purely private firms (the so-called "national champions"). Focusing on a detailed quantitative assessment of Brazil's economic performance from 1976 to 2009, Aldo Musacchio and Sergio Lazzarini examine how these models of state capitalism influence corporate investment and performance.

According to one model, the state acts as a majority investor, granting the state-owned enterprise (SOE) financial autonomy and allowing professional management. This form, the authors argue, has reduced many agency problems commonly faced by state ownership. According to another hybrid model, the state uses sovereign wealth funds, holding companies, and development banks to acquire a small share of equity ownership in a corporation, thereby potentially alleviating capital constraints and leveraging latent capabilities.

Both models have benefits and costs. Yet neither model has entirely eliminated the temptation of governments to intervene in the operation of natural resource industries and other large strategic enterprises. Nevertheless, the longstanding debate over whether private ownership is superior or inferior to state capitalism has become irrelevant, Musacchio and Lazzarini conclude. Private ownership is now mingled with state capital on a global scale.

Reinventing State Capitalism: Leviathan in Business, Brazil and Beyond

Experiments in Financial Democracy: Corporate Governance and Financial Development in Brazil, 1882-1950 (Studies in Macroeconomic History)

This book is a detailed historical description of the evolution of corporate governance and stock markets in Brazil in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The analysis details the practices of corporate governance, in particular the rights that shareholders have to restrict the actions of managers, and how that shaped different approaches to corporate finance over time. The book argues that companies are not necessarily constrained by the institutional framework in which they operate. In the case of Brazil, even if the protections for investors included in national laws were relatively weak before 1940, corporate charters contained a series of provisions that protected minority shareholders against the abuses of large shareholders, managers, or other corporate insiders. These provisions ranged from limits on the number of votes a single shareholder could have to restrictions on the number of family members who could act as directors simultaneously. The investigation uses the Brazilian case to challenge some of the key findings of a recent literature that argues that legal systems (e.g., common vs. civil law) shape the extent of development of stock and bond markets in different nations. The book argues that legal systems alone cannot determine the course of stock and bond markets over time, because corporate governance practices and the size of these markets vary significantly over time, while the basic principles of legal systems are stable.

Experiments in Financial Democracy: Corporate Governance and Financial Development in Brazil, 1882-1950 (Studies in Macroeconomic History)