Michael Tulio Ramos De França
Doctorate – Fertility, Racial Identification and Inequality
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Eduardo Amaral Haddad
Comission: Profs. Drs. Naercio Menezes Filho, Rodrigo Reis Soares e Cássio Maldonado Turra
Class: 217, FEA-5
Climate change is one of humanity's greatest contemporary challenges. In this regard, several studies have indicated that there will be a considerable increase in the incidence of extreme weather events such as heat waves. Understanding the channels through which climate can affect society has thus become a research agenda of significant importance. In this context, researchers have found evidence in developed countries that temperature negatively affects the number of births. Since several countries in the world have a fertility rate below the level of population replacement and, given climate projections, temperature can become a relevant variable in population issues. Consequently, in order to verify whether there is any influence of temperature on births in a developing country, the first chapter seeks to perform this analysis using data from Brazil. For this, an econometric approach was used in which the objective is to test whether exposure to high temperature shocks has any effect on the number of births months later. Thus, the proposed methodology suggests that a high temperature has a negative effect of approximately 2% on births 8 to 10 months after exposure to shock.
Regarding socioeconomic development, perhaps the biggest challenges are overcoming discrimination and social exclusion. In the Brazilian case, which represents the last country on the American continent to abolish slavery and the second largest black nation in the world, television is mostly white. In addition to the racial bias in representativeness, there is also a bias in the way groups are portrayed. While blacks are often depicted with negative stereotypes, whites appear with positive traits. Thus, the recurring white-skinned television advertising has the potential to affect people's perceptions of skin tones and, consequently, the narrative spread through this medium of communication can shape society's behavior toward race and it has a significant potential to negatively affect the social exclusion of the black population. In turn, this process implicitly normalizes the devaluation of the image of dark-skinned people and creates in the collective imagination the ideal that white skin is associated with higher social status and that white appearance features have a higher intrinsic value. As a result, a frequent strategy adopted by Brazilian African descendants is to try to integrate white identity. However, this attempt to erase the origins and color of the skin becomes an additional force for enhancing the white image and degrading black. This dynamic has the potential to create racial stratification in social consciousness. In order to test the hypothesis that television affects racial perception, the second chapter seeks to determine whether there is any influence on Brazilian racial self-declaration. The purpose of this chapter is to use the variation in the time when the country's main commercial broadcaster, called Rede Globo, entered each municipality to estimate whether there was any effect on racial identification of the population. Thus, the results of the proposed approach suggest that television impacted self-declaration in the sense that parents whitened their children and, additionally, the results indicate that the effect is greater for women.
Finally, it is known that Brazil is a country marked by high inequality and low social mobility. In this context, little attention has been given in the Brazilian debate to the possible effects of the distribution of fertility among social groups on long-term inequality. With this perspective, the third chapter seeks to review the theoretical and empirical literature that is addressed to analyze such a relationship. In certain contexts, the fertility differential between poor and rich women can become a relevant mechanism in which socioeconomic status is reproduced between generations and thus has the potential to become an important vector for the spread of social inequalities.
Although the fertility differential between poor and rich women has fallen over time, it remains significant. In addition, the significant difference in Brazilian family size between social classes in the past may influence inequality many years later. Thus, the purpose of the last chapter is to verify whether the fertility of low-educated women between 1970 and 1991 affected the 20-year inequality in the future. As a result, the fertility of this population subgroup has been found to have considerable predictive power for long-term inequality. Then, a methodological approach is proposed to deal with the issue of endogeneity and the results suggest that fertility increased inequality of 20 years in the future.
*Abstract provided by the author