An Empirical Analysis of Gender and Education in Brazil: The Differential Effects of Mothers and Fathers on Sons and Daughters
Amongst younger cohorts in Brazil, there is an educational gender gap that favors women. As such, this dissertation empirically analyzes several aspects and dimensions of the educational gender gap in Brazil. The primary focus is the effect of mothers' versus fathers' educational attainment, with a secondary focus on expected earnings gains. Each chapter is described below. Chapter 2, "The Determinants of the Changing Educational Gender Gap in Brazil," analyzes the inter-temporal change in the educational gender gap by household type, focusing on the contribution of maternal and paternal education. The results indicate that the combined change (both returns and levels) in the education of household heads, fathers in two-parent households and mothers in female-headed households, has benefited sons more so than daughters, thereby reducing the gender disparity. In sharp contrast, the combined change in maternal education in two-parent households benefited girls more so than boys, widening the divide between sons and daughters. Chapter 3, "Gender Differences in Brazil's Post-Compulsory School Attendance," examines school enrollment decisions, with an emphasis on the effects of maternal and paternal education. The empirical estimates show that for girls in two-parent households, maternal education has a stronger (more positive) effect on the probability of attending school than paternal education at low levels of parental schooling. At high levels of parental schooling, however, paternal education has more of an effect for girls than maternal education. The fourth chapter, "Expected Earnings Gains and Eventual Educational Attainment: Gender Differences in Brazil," examines the role of gender differences in expected earnings gains on eventual attainment for adults. The empirical results show that expected earnings gains has a significantly stronger (more positive) effect for women than for men. Finally, simulations of equalizing gains increases the gender gap, but equalizing the coefficients on gains decreases the gender gap. Overall, this dissertation provides an empirical analysis on gender and education in Brazil. Despite the existence of a reverse gender gap for several decades, there is very little research on educational differences between males and females. As such, this dissertation presents new information that can offer some insights into the source of the gender gap, as well as how it may change over time.
Education; Gender; Brazil; Earnings
dissertation or thesis