Facts and History

The Institute of Economics of UFRJ was founded in 1996 due to the merger of the Economics Department from the former College of Economics and Business Administration (FEA), responsible for the undergraduate program in Economic Sciences, and the Institute of Industrial Economy (IEI), responsible for the graduate program. This merger represented the final phase of a project, initiated in 1946, to create a center in the university to house teaching activities, research and extended studies in Economics.

The Economic Sciences course of the IE-UFRJ is one of the country’s oldest undergraduate programs of this field, having been recognized by the Ministry of Education in 1945. As for the UFRJ graduate program in Economy, it was founded in 1979, with the creation of the master’s degree course in Economics, within the Graduate Program in Economics (PPGE). In 1987, the PPGE doctoral degree course in Economics was established. In 2008, the Public Policy, Strategies and Development Program (PPED) was created, and then followed by the International Political Economy Program (PEPI) in 2009, which also offers master's and doctoral degree programs, respectively, in public policy and international relations.

The IE unit is located at the Praia Vermelha campus, within the University Palace. This historic building has witnessed defining moments of Brazilian history throughout its existence. The building, built between 1842 and 1852, is an exponent of neoclassical architecture in Brazil. It was inaugurated by Emperor D. Pedro II, in 1852, to house the National Hospice of the Insane, linked to the hospital Santa Casa de Misericórdia. It functioned as a hospital until 1944, when it was then abandoned. The building was about to be demolished, but in 1949 it was turned into the rectory headquarters for University of Brazil, former University of Rio de Janeiro and current UFRJ. The Palace was then established as a historical landmark and underwent restoration works, completed in 1953.

In the late 1950s, the Arena Theater, located in the Palace's interior, was the stage setting of the most important cosmopolitan music movement of Brazil, Bossa Nova. It housed the release of João Gilberto's album, Chega de Saudade, with the participation of Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes and Nara Leão, whom would all return to perform a show the following year. During the military regime between 1968 and 1970, the Arena Theater and the Praia Vermelha campus also served as a platform for major student demonstrations of democratic nature against the military dictatorship.