RACIAL CONTINUUM, SOCIAL MOBILITY AND “WHITENING”

2017-11-01T08:43:10Z (GMT) by Carlos Antonio Costa Ribeiro
<p></p><p>Research on race in Brazil has for a long time recognized that racial categories are based on skin color distinctions along a black-white continuum. However, quantitative evidences about racial inequality are mostly based on the white versus non-white (brown and black) dichotomy or on the threefold categorization (white, brown, and black). This way of using the variable contributed to show the high levels of racial inequality. This finding, however, has often been questioned because of another aspect: the high ambiguity in racial classification and the possibility of “whitening” with money or with upward mobility. If this last feature is true, it is hard to make a reliable measure of racial inequality. In order to deal directly with this dilemma, I measure the “skin color continuum” combining answers to an open question (respondents free choice) and to a closed question (census categories) about skin color. I implement counterfactual simulations to access the possible effects of “whitening with money” on educational, occupational and economic attainments.</p><p></p>