Dados vol. 58 n. 1 Rio de Janeiro jan./mar. 2015

Social Class and Income Shifts in Brazil

Santos, José Alcides Figueiredo


This article identifies and examines the main income shifts among class position in Brazil between 1992 and 2011. Observed difference measures were combined with differences adjusted by quantile regression. The subordination of income distribution to class ordering Brazilian society remained clearly visible. After 2002, the income difference between the privileged top and the destitute base decreased, both in absolute and relative terms. The more acute losses in income were linked to the credentials of specialist positions. The class advantages in the dimensions of property and authority of the social structure became more persistent. Otherwise, the composition and the advantages of the privileged groups have become more dependent on the control and employment of educational inputs that have lost value.

Keywords: social class, income inequality, Brazilian society, quantile regression

DOI: 10.1590/00115258201539

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Social Class and Income Shifts in Brazil