Soap operas and fertility: Evidence from Brazil

Eliana La Ferrara, Alberto Chong, Suzanne Duryea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

220 Scopus citations


We estimate the effect of television on fertility in Brazil, where soap operas portray small families. We exploit differences in the timing of entry into different markets of Globo, the main novela producer. Women living in areas covered by Globo have significantly lower fertility. The effect is strongest for women of lower socioeconomic status and in the central and late phases of fertility, consistent with stopping behavior. The result does not appear to be driven by selection in Globo entry. We provide evidence that novelas, and not just television, affected individual choices, based on children's naming patterns and novela content.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


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