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The purpose of the paper was to study if the dynamics of the Brazilian cattle stocks can be better explained by systemic endogenous factors or either by exogenous changes on beef demand. The conclusion, as proposed by the theory of the cattle cycle, was that systemic factors related to the adoption of the stabilization program in 1994 were apparently more important in explaining the stagnation of the Brazilian herd since 2000. The main policy implication of this conclusion is that it seems to have a space for stabilizing de dynamics of the system through adequate public policies. The methodology used was system dynamics which allows to trace the critical feedback loops that drive de cattle cycle and to identify possible leverage points in the system, defined as points in which intervention could produce maximal effects.


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