Maria Paula Bertran
Associate Professor and Chair, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Department: Law and Society
Academic Year: 2019-2020
Term/Semester: Winter 2020
Maria Paula Bertran is the Law and Society Associate Professor and Chair at the University of São Paulo (Ribeirão Preto Law School). Her research focuses mainly on banking regulation and its outcomes for consumer’s rights, the increase of inequality, and sustainable economic growth. She is a former Brazilian Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Democracy and Human Development at the Kellogg Institute in 2018.
Bertran’s recent studies point to the mechanisms of income transfer created by household debt. She claims that in Brazil, a massive part of the population’s wealth is lost due to predatory lending strategies involving real estate financing, credit card revolving credit, and payroll debts. Lately, she has been developing studies that link the decline of social wealth with corruption in the banking sector.
Bertran has published many books and articles. In English, she wrote “Homes of Iphones? Diversion of Social Security Funds to Relieve Consumption-Fuelled Household Debt in Brazil” (Chapter in Sustainable Consumption, Springer, 2019), “Brazilian housing bubble: overpriced homes, subprime credit, and overwhelming income transfer” (article published by the Revista de Direito da Cidade), and “The role of small debts in a large crisis: credit cards and the Brazilian recession of 2014” (forthcoming).
She is the author of three books (written in Portuguese): i) Justice and Contract: Between Commutative and Distributive Justices (University of São Paulo Press, 2015); ii) Contract Interpretation and Economic Analysis of Law: The Case of 1999 Leasing Contracts (2008), and iii) Credit and Morality: the rhetorics of due payment meets the profits of default (forthcoming by the Juruá Press).
During her stay at Stanford, Professor Bertran will teach the course LAW 5041: Business, Institutions, and Corruption in Latin America in the Winter 2020 quarter. While the main target of the course is to review the literature on these subjects, the banking system will be a particular issue considering selected cases related to laundering strategies identified in Latin America.