Reducing Schooling Inequality in Brazil: Demographic Opportunities and Inter-Cohort Differentials

IPEA Working Paper No. 850

22 Pages Posted: 9 May 2002

See all articles by Sergei S. Soares

Sergei S. Soares

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) - Directory of Social Policy and Studies

Carlos Eduardo Velez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Marcelo Medeiros

IPEA - Institute for Applied Economic Research; UnB - University of Brasilia

Date Written: December 2001

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to explore the interplay between schooling and demographics in Brazil. We would like to provide a preliminary answer to the question of how long will improvements in schooling of younger cohorts take o change the distribution of educational endowments of the total labor force. This answer depends on two factors. The first is the demographic composition of the working age population - the weight each cohort has in the 16 to 70 year old population. The second is the distribution of schooling within each cohort- its average educational level and the inequality within each cohort. These two factors - demography and education by cohort - define the average educational level and the distribution of education for the working age population in any given year. This paper takes a standard demographic projection and makes various hypotheses about the evolution of education - both the mean and inequality. According to these hypotheses, we will calculate how long improvements in the schooling of successive cohorts take to translate into significant improvements in the schooling of the working age population. Our results are somewhat pessimistic. We calculate that even very strong departures from the observed trend will take many years or decades to translate into significantly different educational endowments for the working age population. In other words, we show that demographic inertia is a strong factor preventing changes in educational endowments in periods shorter than a few decades.

JEL Classification: J11

Suggested Citation

Soares, Sergei S. and Velez, Carlos Eduardo and Medeiros, Marcelo, Reducing Schooling Inequality in Brazil: Demographic Opportunities and Inter-Cohort Differentials (December 2001). IPEA Working Paper No. 850, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=308719 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.308719

Sergei S. Soares (Contact Author)

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) - Directory of Social Policy and Studies ( email )

Av. Presidente Antonio Carlos 51
Rio de Janeiro RJ 20020-010
Brazil

Carlos Eduardo Velez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Marcelo Medeiros

IPEA - Institute for Applied Economic Research ( email )

SBS-01, Ed. BNDES
1610
Brasilia, DF 70076-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://www.ipea.gov.br

UnB - University of Brasilia ( email )

Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro
Brasilia, Distrito Federal 70910-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://buscatextual.cnpq.br/buscatextual/visualizacv.do?metodo=apresentar&id=K4798836T3

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