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

Cintia Granja, Fabiana Visentin, Ana Maria Carneiro

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers

JEL classifications

  • d31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
  • d63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
  • i24 - Education and Inequality
  • o15 - "Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration"


  • Exchange Programs
  • Income Redistribution
  • Tertiary Education
  • Impact Evaluation
  • Propensity Score Matching


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