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Population Growth and the Distribution of Household Income: The Case of Brazil

Charles H. Wood and José Alberto M. de Carvalho
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Winter, 1982), pp. 49-65
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4106352
Page Count: 17
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Population Growth and the Distribution of Household Income: The Case of Brazil
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Abstract

Special tabulations of the 1970 census of Brazil are used to estimate fertility and mortality rates by level of household income. Projections to the year 2000 indicate that the poor population will grow substantially faster than the rich population. Projections that simulate upward social mobility and declines in fertility and mortality levels do not alter this conclusion. Differential rates of natural increase by income strata are shown to contribute to an increase in the proportion of the population in the lower income strata by the end of the century. Although these differentials could be reduced by a more equitable distribution of income, the style of development in Brazil has yielded only a small increase in the real income of the poor. Analysis of the income elasticity of fertility and mortality at different levels of household earnings suggest that this pattern of economic growth will further widen differences in the rate of natural increase by socioeconomic strata. The analysis of the demographic behavior of population subgroups questions the assumption that a lower rate of aggregate population growth in developing countries necessarily contributes to a more equitable distribution of income.

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