Interracial Unions and Fertility in Brazil: Are There Differences when Couples Are Racially Mixed?

Maria C. Tomas, University of California, Berkeley
Dimitri Fazito, Cedeplar, UFMG

This paper investigates whether mixed race couples have different or same fertility level than same race couples, and whether there is an asymmetry on men’s and women’s race effect on fertility. Using Brazilian Census data for the year 2000 three explanations are considered:1) adaptation either through assimilation or innovation; 2) resistance or rupture and 3) selectivity. The results support the independent effect of race in fertility and its explanation through innovation. The interracial couples pass through an adaptation process and have fertility in between their racial groups. Both, men’s and women’s race have similar weight in the couple’s outcome (about 50% each). Considering the potential asymmetry between them, the results show that the darker partner has a slightly lower power on fertility after controlling for women’s education. Furthermore, the findings also contribute to the discussion about the importance of considering men's characteristics, besides their income, in reproductive behavior studies.

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Presented in Poster Session 7