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Why Is Poverty So High Among Afro-Brazilians? A Decomposition Analysis of the Racial Poverty Gap

Carlos Gradín ()

No 2809, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: This study aimed to identify the major factors underlying the large discrepancy in poverty levels between two Brazilian racial groups: whites and Afro-Brazilians. We performed an Oaxaca-Blinder-type decomposition for nonlinear regressions in order to quantify the extent to which differences in observed geographic, sociodemographic, and labor characteristics (characteristics effect) account for this difference. The remaining unexplained part (coefficients effect) provides evidence on how these characteristics differentially impact on the risk of poverty in each group. A detailed decomposition of both effects allows the individual contribution of each characteristic to be determined. Our results show that the characteristics effect explains a large part of the discrepancy in poverty levels, with education and labor variables of household members explaining at least one half of the effect, and geographic and demographic variables accounting for the remainder. However, the unexplained part that remains significant has increased in importance in recent last years, and probably results from unequal access to high-quality education and the persistence of discrimination against colored workers in the labor market.

Keywords: household characteristics; gap; race; skin color; decomposition; Oaxaca-Blinder; Brazil; PNAD; labor market; poverty; education; participation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D63 J15 J82 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-hap, nep-hrm and nep-lab
Date: 2007-05
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Journal Article: Why is Poverty So High Among Afro-Brazilians? A Decomposition Analysis of the Racial Poverty Gap (2009) Downloads
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