Anne G. Hanley

Current Research

My new book project, "1872: Standardizing the Brazilian Nation," looks at two major events that took place in Brazil in 1872: the conduct of the first national census and the adoption of the metric system of weights and measures. These events were important because they had the potential to integrate the domestic economy of Brazil, a continental-sized nation, in a basic, functional manner. Prior to the adoption of the metric system Brazilians used regional weights and measures of differing values, making long-distance exchange difficult. Prior to the national census, Brazilian planners lacked much beyond a general understanding of the demographics of the internal market. Both innovations brought Brazilians into closer contact with state officials whose policies had powerful effects on their livelihoods. This projects opens an investigation into the history of Brazil’s domestic economy, where most Brazilians lived and worked and where government initiatives had the greatest potential to affect their quality of life and standard of living. This research is supported by an NEH Summer Stipend.

Major Publications



  • Fiscalidade no Brasil Império: a manutenção de privilégios e o legado da desigualdade.” With Dr. Luciana Suarez Galvão. Revista USP n. 132 (Jan-March 2022).
  • Men of Science and Standards: The Metric System in Nineteenth-Century Brazil.” Business History Review, Vol. 96, No. 1 (2022).
  • "Historia empresarial de Brasil: de la familia empresaria a los grupos económicos diversificados" in Historia empresarial en América Latina: temas, debates y problemas edited by Marcelo Bucheli and Andrea Lluch. Lima: Universidade de los Andes Press, 2021.
  • "Municipal Plenty, Municipal Poverty, and Brazilian Economic Development, 1836-1850" With Luciana Suarez Lopes. Latin American Research Review, 52, no.2 (June 2017).
  • "Critiquing the Bank: 60 years of BNDES in the academy" With Julio Manuel Pires, Maurício Jorge Pinto de Souza, Renato Leite Marcondes, Rosane Nunes de Faria, and Sérgio Naruhiko Sakurai. Journal of Latin American Studies, 48, no. 4 (2016): 823-850.
  • "A quantitative analysis of the academic economic literature regarding the Brazilian development bank (BNDES)" With Alex Luiz Ferreira, Júlio Manuel Pires, Maurício Jorge Pinto de Souza, Renato Leite Marcondes, Rosane Nunes de Faria, and Sérgio Naruhiko Sakurai. EconomiA, July 23, 2015.
  • "Alice in Accounting Land: the Adventures of Two Economic Historians in Accounting Records of the 19th Century" with Luciana Suarez Lopes. Revista Contabilidade & Finanças. Vol. 25, No. special issue. São Paulo Sept./Dec. 2014.
  • "Bancos e o desenvolvimento econômico de São Paulo no século XIX" In Brasileiros e Brasilianistas: novas gerações, novos olhares. Uma homenagem a Emília Viotti da Costa. São Paulo: Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo, 2014.
  • "A Failure to Deliver: Municipal Poverty and the Provision of Public Services in Imperial São Paulo, Brazil 1822-1889" Journal of Urban History Vol 39, No. 3 (May 2013): 513-535.
  • "Introdução" in La Bourse de São Paulo 1911 (Reprodução Histórica) São Paulo: BM&F BOVESPA, 2012.
  • "Financing Brazil’s Industrialization" in Reconceptualizing the Industrial Revolution edited by Jeff Horn, Leonard L. Rosenband and Merritt Roe Smith. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010.
  • "Bancos na Transição Republicana em São Paulo: O Financiamento Hipotecário (1888-1901)" with Renato Leite Marcondes. Estudos Econômicos, Volume 40, Number 1 (March 2010).
  • "Is It Who You Know? Entrepreneurs and Bankers in São Paulo, Brazil, at the Turn of the Twentieth Century." Enterprise and Society, Volume 5, Number 2 (June 2004).
  • "A Bolsa de Valores e o financiamento de empresas em São Paulo, 1886-1917" História Econômica e História de Empresas Vol. IV, No. 1 (2001).
  • "Business Finance and the São Paulo Bolsa, 1886-1917" in Latin America and the World Economy: Essays in Quantitative Economic History edited by John Coatsworth and Alan Taylor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Teaching Interests

I enjoy teaching courses on modern Latin America, with an emphasis on the region’s economic, political, and social underdevelopment. I regularly teach Modern Latin America, a survey from independence (1820s) to the present, and History of Brazil, which covers the sweep of Brazilian history from the early encounters between Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans to the modern day. I offer the course Inequality in Latin America that explores the roots of modern Latin America's persistent gap between rich and poor and enjoy teaching Latin America through Film. My new course, The Latin American City, explores urban life from the first colonial Spanish and Portuguese settlements to the challenges of the modern day mega-city.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 381 Colonial Latin America
  • HIST 382 Modern Latin America
  • HIST 383 Latin America Through Film
  • HIST 395 Historical Methods
  • HIST 484 History of Brazil
  • HIST 486 Inequality in Latin America
  • HIST 487 The Latin American City
  • HIST 495 Senior Thesis
  • HIST 620 Capitalism
  • HIST 620 The City in History

Interdisciplinary Affiliations



Anne G. Hanley
Board of Trustees Professor
Zulauf 707

Brazil, Economic

Ph.D., Stanford University, 1995

Office Hours

Tuesday, 1-2 p.m. (online) and by appointment.