Volume 28 - Article 20 | Pages 581–612

Age, education, and earnings in the course of Brazilian development: Does composition matter?

By Ernesto Amaral, F. L., Joseph E. Potter, Daniel Hamermesh, Eduardo Rios-Neto

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:28 Feb 2012
Date published:20 Mar 2013
Word count:6605
Keywords:age-education composition, Brazil, cohort size, demographic transition, earnings profiles, education, education transition


Background: The impacts of shifts in the age distribution of the working-age population have been studied in relation to the effect of the baby boom generation on the earnings of different cohorts in the U.S. However, this topic has received little attention in the context of the countries of Asia and Latin America, which are now experiencing substantial shifts in their age-education distributions.

Objective: In this analysis, we estimate the impact of the changing relative size of the adult male population, classified by age and education groups, on the earnings of employed men living in 502 Brazilian local labor markets during four time periods between 1970 and 2000.

Methods: Taking advantage of the huge variation across Brazilian local labor markets and demographic census micro-data, we used fixed effects models to demonstrate that age-education group size depresses earnings.

Results: These effects are more detrimental among age-education groups with higher education, but they are becoming less negative over time. The decrease in the share of workers with the lowest level of education has not led to gains in the earnings of these workers in recent years.

Conclusions: These trends might be a consequence of technological shifts and increasing demand for labor with either education or experience. Compositional shifts are influential, which suggests that this approach could prove useful in studying this central problem in economic development.

Author's Affiliation

Ernesto Amaral, F. L. - Texas A&M University, United States of America [Email]
Joseph E. Potter - University of Texas at Austin, United States of America [Email]
Daniel Hamermesh - University of Texas at Austin, United States of America [Email]
Eduardo Rios-Neto - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Patterns of contraceptive use among Mexican-origin women
Volume 28 - Article 41

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Postponement and recuperation in cohort marriage: The experience of South Korea
Volume 35 - Article 35    | Keywords: demographic transition, education

» Family size, adolescents’ schooling and the Demographic Transition: Evidence from Brazil
Volume 23 - Article 15    | Keywords: Brazil, education

» Trends and educational variation in the association between spouses’ marital histories in South Korea, 1993–2017
Volume 45 - Article 27    | Keywords: education

» The growth of education differentials in marital dissolution in the United States
Volume 45 - Article 26    | Keywords: education

» The Demographic Echo of War and educational attainment in Soviet Russia
Volume 45 - Article 22    | Keywords: cohort size