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Endogenous Race in Brazil: Affirmative Action and the Construction of Racial Identity among Young Adults

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  • Andrew M. Francis
  • Maria Tannuri-Pianto

Abstract

In this article, we study the construction of racial identity among students at a university that recently adopted racial quotas in admissions. Using data collected by the authors, we find that parents' race, family socioeconomic status, gender, and racial quotas have a significant effect on self-reported race. The evidence indicates that students in mixed-race families are systematically more likely to identify with their mother's race than with their father's. Conditional on skin tone quintile, higher socioeconomic status is associated with lighter racial self-classification, and lower socioeconomic status with darker racial self-classification. Additionally, the results demonstrate that being male is associated with lighter racial self-classification, and being female with darker self-classification. Policy changes may also affect racial identity. After the adoption of racial quotas, students in the darkest two quintiles were less likely to self-identify as branco, those in the fourth quintile were more likely to self-identify as pardo, and those in the darkest quintile were more likely to self-identify as preto.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew M. Francis & Maria Tannuri-Pianto, 2013. "Endogenous Race in Brazil: Affirmative Action and the Construction of Racial Identity among Young Adults," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 731-753.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/670375
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roland G. Fryer Jr. & Lisa Kahn & Steven D. Levitt & Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2012. "The Plight of Mixed-Race Adolescents," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 621-634, August.
    2. Ruebeck Christopher S & Averett Susan L & Bodenhorn Howard N, 2009. "Acting White or Acting Black: Mixed-Race Adolescents' Identity and Behavior," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-44, March.
    3. Arthur H. Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity Jr, 2006. "Shades of Discrimination: Skin Tone and Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 242-245, May.
    4. Joni Hersch, 2006. "Skin-Tone Effects among African Americans: Perceptions and Reality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 251-255, May.
    5. David Austen-Smith & Ronald G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of 'Acting White'," Discussion Papers 1399, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    6. Leticia Marteleto, 2012. "Educational Inequality by Race in Brazil, 1982–2007: Structural Changes and Shifts in Racial Classification," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 337-358, February.
    7. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583.
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    Cited by:

    1. Timothy Diette & Arthur Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity, 2015. "Skin Shade Stratification and the Psychological Cost of Unemployment: Is there a Gradient for Black Females?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 155-177, June.
    2. Guilhem Cassan, 2015. "Identity-Based Policies and Identity Manipulation: Evidence from Colonial Punjab," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 103-131, November.
    3. repec:spr:blkpoe:v:44:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12114-017-9247-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Francisca Antman & Brian Duncan, 2015. "Incentives to Identify: Racial Identity in the Age of Affirmative Action," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 710-713, July.
    5. Salvador Contreras, 2016. "For Economic Advantage or Something Else? A Case for Racial Identification Switching," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 43(3), pages 301-323, December.
    6. Maria Eduarda Tannuri Pianto & Andrew Francis, 2011. "The Redistributive Efficacy Ofaffirmative Action: Exploring The Role Of Race And Socioeconomic Statusin College Admissions," Anais do XXXVIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 38th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 218, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    7. Letícia J. Marteleto & Molly Dondero, 2016. "Racial Inequality in Education in Brazil: A Twins Fixed-Effects Approach," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 1185-1205, August.

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