Racial Inequality in the Brazilian Labor Market and the Role of Education

27 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2021

See all articles by Sergio Firpo

Sergio Firpo

Insper

Michael França

Insper

Alysson Portella

Insper Institute of Education and Research

Date Written: November 20, 2021

Abstract

Do differences in wages between white and black workers arise because of discrimination or because of differences in productivity? This report tries to answer this questions by analyzing recent patterns in racial inequality in the Brazilian labor market and education. In addition to that, we also discuss some of the most important works on racial inequality. We show that racial differences in earnings are large and persistent, even when we consider workers with higher education or in the same occupational group. Using data from Brazil, we show that a considerable part of racial gaps in wages are due to differences in education related to years of schooling, quality of education, and majors attended in college. We also present data on recent trends in educational inequality. Access to higher education has improved fast in Brazil in the last decades, especially among black youth. However, there are still large differences in access between black and white children. Black students in higher education attend less prestigious courses than their white counterparts. Moreover, the performance of black teens in exams by the end of high school is worse than that of white students, and recent trends suggest that these differences in performance are widening.

Keywords: Race, social inequality, labor market, education, discrimination

JEL Classification: J7

Suggested Citation

Firpo, Sergio and França, Michael and Portella, Alysson, Racial Inequality in the Brazilian Labor Market and the Role of Education (November 20, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3967828 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3967828

Sergio Firpo

Insper ( email )

R Quata 300
Sao Paulo, 04542-030
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/sergiopfirpo/

Michael França

Insper ( email )

R Quata 300
Sao Paulo, 04542-030
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/alumni.usp.br/michael

Alysson Portella (Contact Author)

Insper Institute of Education and Research ( email )

R Quata 300
Sao Paulo, 04542-030
Brazil

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