Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Baxter, Vern

Second Advisor

Mann, Susan A.

Third Advisor

Adeola, Francis O.


Social and economic changes that happened in Brazil in the 1990s have changed the organization of female employment in the country. In this study, I examine the participation of women in the informal sector in Brazil in 1996 and 2005. Using micro-level data from the Brazilian Monthly Employment Survey, I find Brazilian female workers became older, more educated, and that female informal employment increased over the period studied. Although selfemployment was reduced, an increase in wage-employment in informal manufacturing was noticed, which indicates growth in subcontracting. Higher share of female headed households, lower income and higher poverty levels were predominantly found among informal sector female workers. Large share of female informal work in disadvantaged conditions indicates the existence of a dual labor market in Brazil. Globalization and the adoption of neoliberal practices in Brazil seem to have exacerbated the underprivileged condition of working women in the country.


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