Current Research

Evaluating the Effects of a Transit Fare Exemption for the Elderly in Brazil

From 1993 to 2013, men above 65 and women above 60 could ride for free in São Paulo’s public transportation. Using data from a detailed household travel survey, I estimate a difference-in-differences model that explores this age/gender eligibility differential to identify the effects of the exemption on travel behavior. Furthermore, I plan to use these results to support a structural choice model that will simulate the welfare and revenue outcomes of alternative exemption policies.

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Affirmative Action Expansion in Brazil: Effects on Access to Public Higher Education

With Mary Arends-Kuenning

This paper investigates how affirmative action policies for college admission improved the access of students from disadvantaged groups to public tertiary education in Brazil. We use a difference-in-differences design to explore the fact that between 2004 and 2012 several Brazilian federal universities implemented affirmative action policies at different points in time. Our results indicate that the policies were effective in increasing the shares of Negros and public high-school students in treated universities. However, the policies were not as effective for increasing the enrollment of low-income households. While the impacts of affirmative action policies were larger on prestigious programs, it was mostly negligible in the less competitive ones. Additionally, we observed that race-blind policies had no impact on increasing the participation of racial minorities in federal colleges; meanwhile race-conscious policies did achieve that outcome.

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