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Anatomy of the Brazilian middle class: identification, behaviours and expectations

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Anatomy of the Brazilian middle class: identification, behaviours and expectations

Author: Clément, Matthieu - Fauré, Yves-André - Berrou, Jean-Philippe - Combarnous, François - Darbon, Dominique Physical Description: p. 129-147; tabls. Date: April 2020 ECLAC symbol: LC/PUB.2020/4-P

Description

This article aims to analyse the composition of the Brazilian middle class and its main behaviours and expectations. Combining a quantitative analysis based on the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) and a qualitative survey carried out among households belonging to the middle class, it reveals the following characteristics. First, the Brazilian middle class is heterogeneous and a substantial part of it remains vulnerable to poverty. Second, the middle class exhibits consumer behaviour largely sustained by credit. Third, in terms of expectations, the Brazilian middle class prioritizes health, education, security and housing and is particularly critical of the quality of public services, all the more so as it faces a high tax burden. While the upper middle class is able to bypass these failures via private services, the most vulnerable elements of the middle class remain very dependent on these low-quality public services.