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Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil

Author

Listed:
  • Eliana La Ferrara
  • Suzanne Duryea
  • Alberto E. Chong

Abstract

This paper focuses on fertility choices in Brazil, a country where soap operas (novelas) portray families that are much smaller than in reality, to study the effects of television on individual behavior. Using Census data for the period 1970-1991, the paper finds that women living in areas covered by the Globo signal have significantly lower fertility. The effect is strongest for women of lower socioeconomic status and for women in the central and late phases of their fertility cycle. Finally, the paper provides evidence that novelas, rather than television in general, affected individual choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Eliana La Ferrara & Suzanne Duryea & Alberto E. Chong, 2008. "Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1623, Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:1623
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gordon Dahl & Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 677-734.
    2. Manuelita Ureta & Carlos Filgueira & Naercio Aquino Menezes-Filho & Suzanne Duryea & Richard Obuchi & Lykke E. Andersen & Fernando Filgueira & Josefina Bruni Celli & Carmen Elisa Flórez & Jairo Núñez , 2003. "Critical Decisions at a Critical Age: Adolescents and Young Adults in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 42598 edited by Manuelita Ureta & Alejandra Cox Edwards & Suzanne Duryea, February.
    3. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451.
    4. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    5. Alberto Chong & Eliana La Ferrara, 2009. "Television and Divorce: Evidence from Brazilian Novelas," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 458-468, 04-05.
    6. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094.
    7. Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 1-33, October.
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    9. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Does Television Rot Your Brain? New Evidence from the Coleman Study," NBER Working Papers 12021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972.
    12. David Lam & Suzanne Duryea, 1999. "Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply, and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 160-192.
    13. Joseph Potter & Carl Schmertmann & Suzana Cavenaghi, 2002. "Fertility and development: evidence from Brazil," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(4), pages 739-761, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Women; Telecommunications; Poverty; WP-633;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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