Attitudes towards inequality in Brazil: An analysis of a highly unequal country

Cintia Denise Granja & Ana Maria Carneiro


Understanding public views on what is (un)fair is fundamental, as it has several policymaking implications. In this paper, we conduct a cross-sectional analysis of the determinants of attitudes towards inequality and provide an in-depth analysis of inequality perceptions in Brazil, one of the world's most unequal countries. To achieve this goal, the paper is divided as follows. Firstly, it summarises the main determinants of attitudes towards inequality, categorising each factor into one of the following categories: 1) macroeconomic factors; 2) individual economic factors; 3) social factors. Secondly, it presents Brazil's case study, using data from a study conducted in 2019 by Oxfam/Datafolha. The Brazilian data is analysed through Ordered Logistic Regressions. The results show that social factors related to skin colour/race, education and meritocracy beliefs are important to determine Brazilians attitudes towards inequality. For the economic factors, inequality perception was found to be also an essential determinant of attitudes.

Keywords: Equality of income, Redistribution, Role of the government

JEL Classification: D31, D63, H23, I24

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