Ernesto F. L. Amaral

ernesto amaral
Associate Sociologist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in sociology/demography, The University of Texas at Austin; M.A. in demography, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil; B.A. in social sciences, Federal University of Goiás (UFG), Brazil


Ernesto Amaral is an associate sociologist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The majority of his research projects deal with demography, migration, and population health through the manipulation of large data sets and integration of demographic, statistical, and spatial methods. He has experience working with Demographic Censuses, American Community Surveys, Defense Manpower Data Center, and several other databases. He has worked for different research units at RAND on projects related to: (1) economic integration of refugees in Europe and the Middle-East; (2) intergenerational effects of internal migration on health outcomes in Indonesia; (3) projection of 2014–2024 Veterans' population by age, gender, race/ethnicity, service cohort, and Public Use Microdata Areas; (4) calibration of survey weights using iterative proportional fitting statistical package to estimate the population covered by the Affordable Care Act; (5) estimation of marginal effects for the evaluation of military spouse education and career opportunities (SECO) programs; (6) meta-regression analysis about the association between income inequality and intergenerational transmission of income; and (7) economic growth and the relationship between formal sector and informal sector in Bangladesh. Articles resulting from these topics have been published in numerous academic journals. Prior to joining RAND in 2014, Amaral served as an assistant professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology/demography from the University of Texas at Austin, M.A. in demography from UFMG, and B.A. in social sciences from the Federal University of Goiás (UFG), Brazil.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Recent Projects

  • Economic integration of refugees in Europe
  • Intergenerational effects of internal migration on labor and health outcomes in Indonesia
  • Reweighting of the 2014 ACS uninsured & off-marketplace non-group population to account for the impact of the Affordable Care Act
  • Develop an evaluation design for military spouse education and career opportunities (SECO) programs
  • Current and projected characteristics and unique health care needs of the patient population served by the Department of Veterans Affairs

Selected Publications

Amaral EFL, Rios-Neto ELG, Potter JE, "Influences of internal migration on male earnings in Brazil, 1970-2000," Migration and Development, 5(1):55-78, 2016

Amaral EFL, Queiroz BL, Calazans JA, "Demographic changes, educational improvements, and earnings in Brazil and Mexico," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, 4(23):1-21, 2015

Potter JE, Amaral EFL, Woodberry R, "The growth of Protestantism in Brazil and its impact on male earnings, 1970-2000," Social Forces, 93(1):125-153, 2014

Hopkins K, Amaral EFL, Mourão ANM, "The impact of payment source and hospital type on rising cesarean section rates in Brazil, 1998 to 2008," Birth, 41(2):169-177, 2014

Amaral EFL, Potter JE, Hamermesh DS, Rios-Neto ELG, "Age, education, and earnings in the course of Brazilian development: does composition matter?" Demographic Research, 28(20):581-612, 2013

Amaral EFL, Almeida ME, Rios-Neto ELG, Potter JE, "Effects of the age-education structure of female workers on male earnings in Brazil," Poverty & Public Policy, 5(4):336-353, 2013

Amaral EFL, Rios-Neto ELG, Potter JE, "Long term influences of age-education transition on the Brazilian labour market," Bulletin of Latin American Research, 31(3):302-319, 2012

Amaral EFL, "The decomposition of economic outcomes as a result of changes in Brazil's male age-education structure," Population Research and Policy Review, 31(6):883-905, 2012


  • New shoe and old shoe side by side.

    Trends in Inequality and the World's Eight Richest Men

    While Oxfam reports have done a good job of bringing attention to the problem of inequality, they may lead the public and policymakers to believe that global inequality has been rising instead of falling. Global inequality has actually been on the decline while inequality within the developed world is increasing.

    Feb 10, 2017 U.S. News & World Report

  • Unaccompanied minors and a family stand next to Honduran border policemen after being detained at a porous border known as La Montanita, on the border of Honduras with Guatemala, June 20, 2014

    Understanding and Addressing the Unaccompanied Minor Immigration Issue

    The number of unaccompanied child immigrants apprehended at the U.S. southwest border is on the rise again, the majority of them coming not from Mexico, but from Central America. Research could provide valuable information to policymakers as they try to find ways to help young immigrants.

    Apr 22, 2016 The Hill