Do schooling and exposure to the dominant society through travel experiences is associated with the monetary income of ethnic minorities? A case study among three remote Amazonian indigenous groups

Carla Morsello, Isabel Ruiz-Mallén

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In industrial societies, schooling affects earnings through cognitive skills and socialization. But how does schooling and other forms of modern human capital such as the acquisition of non-cognitive skills valued by the dominant society impact income in indigenous ethnic minorities living in remote areas and in more autarkic settings? We evaluate the association of monetary income with (a) schooling measured through literacy achievement and (b) exposure to the dominant society through traveling to urban areas among three highly autarkic foraging-horticultural groups of the Brazilian Amazon. We find that the frequency of exposure to the dominant society through traveling bears a positive association with monetary income after controlling for covariates (e.g., age, sex, proficiency speaking Portuguese). Traveling to nearby locations is more important to indigenous peoples that experienced little previous exposure, while for the group more exposed only traveling to far locations frequently bears a positive association with monetary income. Our results also support previous findings that the returns to schooling are large and positive, but the results of these very low levels of schooling are relevant only for the group with higher level of exposure to the national society. This study extends our understanding of an additional path through which modern human capital impacts income in more autarkic settings. We show that socialization into the dominant society through travel experiences of indigenous ethnic minorities may provide another mean of learning the behaviors and skills important to have success in the job market and in trade. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Earnings
  • Human capital
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Non-cognitive skills
  • Schooling

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