, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 337–358 | Cite as

Educational Inequality by Race in Brazil, 1982–2007: Structural Changes and Shifts in Racial Classification

  • Leticia J. Marteleto


Despite overwhelming improvements in educational levels and opportunity during the past three decades, educational disadvantages associated with race still persist in Brazil. Using the nationally representative Pesquisa Nacional de Amostra por Domicílio (PNAD) data from 1982 and 1987 to 2007, this study investigates educational inequalities between white, pardo (mixed-race), and black Brazilians over the 25-year period. Although the educational advantage of whites persisted during this period, I find that the significance of race as it relates to education changed. By 2007, those identified as blacks and pardos became more similar in their schooling levels, whereas in the past, blacks had greater disadvantages. I test two possible explanations for this shift: structural changes and shifts in racial classification. I find evidence for both. I discuss the findings in light of the recent race-based affirmative action policies being implemented in Brazilian universities.


Education Inequality Race Brazil 



This article was supported by an infrastructure grant (5 R24 HD042849) awarded to the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The author would like to thank Robert Hummer, James Jackson, David Lam, Chandra Muller, Irineu Rigotti, Ana Paula Verona, Andres Villarreal, the participants of the Education and Transitions to Adulthood Group at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Editor and reviewers of Demography for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Population Research CenterUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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