Soap%20Operas%20and%20Fertility%3A%20Evidence%20from%20Brazil

Working Papers

Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil


CODE: WP-633
AUTHOR(s): Chong, Alberto , Duryea, Suzanne , La Ferrara, Eliana
PUBLISHED: June 2008
LANGUAGE: English
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor
DOWNLOAD FILE IN: English

Abstract:

This paper focuses on fertility choices in Brazil, a country where soap operas (novelas) portray families that are much smaller than in reality, to study the effects of television on individual behavior. Using Census data for the period 1970-1991, the paper finds that women living in areas covered by the Globo signal have significantly lower fertility. The effect is strongest for women of lower socioeconomic status and for women in the central and late phases of  their fertility cycle. Finally, the paper provides evidence that -novelas-, rather than television in general, affected individual choices.

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