|The Mega-city in Latin America (UNU, 1996, 282 pages)|
|10. São Paulo: A growth process full of contradictions|
During the 1980s, Brazil experienced an economic crisis. This crisis hit the large cities very hard but not all of the secondary cities. In the State of São Paulo, the smaller cities grew while the capital declined. This had a marked impact in terms of the spatial distribution of the state's gross internal product: in 1980 the São Paulo Metropolitan Area (SPMA) contributed 60 per cent of the state's income, while eight years later its share had fallen to 41 per cent (EMPLASA, 1980 and 1988).
Shifts in the location of industry were an important ingredient in this trend (table 10.2). Between 1980 and 1989, industrial employment grew by only 3 per cent in Greater São Paulo and by 18 per cent outside (Fundação SEADE/Governo do Estado de São Paulo, 1992: 103). Whereas value added in cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants grew by 2 per cent between 1980 and 1988, value added fell by 2 per cent in those with between 50,000 and 250,000 people, 11 per cent in those between 250,000 and one million, and 21 per cent in cities with over a million (O Estado de São Paulo, 28 January 1990). Average productivity and profitability were both lower in São Paulo than in many smaller cities (Azzoni, 1988). In 1980, profitability
(measured in terms of value added minus labour costs) was higher in Baurú, Campinas, Vale do Paraíba, São Jose dos Campos, Taubaté, and Ribeirão Preto than in Greater São Paulo. Since value added per worker was much higher in the smaller cities, Greater São Paulo's share of industrial employment fell less rapidly. Between 1980 and 1988, the number of industrial workers in Greater São Paulo fell from 64 per cent to 62 per cent of the total workforce (Folha de São Paulo, 27 November 1989).
The locational shift from Greater São Paulo was not confined to industrial activity. Whereas total employment in the metropolitan area increased by 13 per cent between 1980 and 1989, in the interior it grew by 19 per cent. The numbers of public workers grew by 27 per cent in the metropolitan area and by 73 per cent outside it (Fundação SEADE/Governo de Estado do São Paulo, 1992: 103). Only employment in financial services and the communications sector continued to grow more rapidly in the state's major city (Dedecca and Montagner, 1992).
The changes in location were all part of the transformation of space and society in the State of São Paulo. Modernization and a shift to a more technically and scientifically based economy had both encouraged this change.