Citation: Desarrollo Economico: Revista De Ciencias Sociales, 1993, 130, 185-216
This article compares statistical indicators of racial inequality between whites and nonwhites in Brazil and the US for the period 1940-1988. Specific areas examined include: geographic and spatial distribution of whites and nonwhites; demographic indicators; education; and employment and earnings. Up until 1960 census and household survey data yield measures of racial inequality that tended to be greater in the US than in Brazil. Over time, those measures have tended to decline in the US while remaining stable, or in some cases increasing, in Brazil. By 1980, the US ranked as the more racially equal of the two societies on most indicators. In explaining this change in the two countries’ relative position, the article focuses on three factors: migration and the regional distribution of racial groups; the income-concentrating effects of economic growth; and state policies concerning race.
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