Can international mobility shape students' attitudes toward inequality? The Brazilian case

Cintia Denise Granja, Fabiana Visentin & Ana Maria Carneiro


In this study, we examine the impact of international mobility programs on students’ attitudes toward inequality, focusing on two dimensions: preference and perception of inequality. To provide causal evidence, we exploit unique survey data about more than a thousand students from a well-known and internationalized Brazilian university. Using Propensity Score Matching to construct an artificial comparison group, we find that going abroad does not affect students’ preference to reduce within-country inequality in Brazil. Still, international mobility affects students’ salary preferences, with mobile students expressing their preferences for favoring a raise in salaries for high-skilled jobs. Results also show that mobility affects how individuals perceive current inequality, as students who participate in mobility programs believe within-country inequality is smaller than their non-mobile counterparts. Our analysis presents empirical evidence to reflect on the role of international student mobility, providing insights to policymakers engaged in understanding their effects.

Keywords: Exchange Programs, Income Redistribution, Tertiary Education, Impact Evaluation, Propensity Score Matching

JEL Classification: D31, D63, I24

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