I am an assistant professor at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College (CUNY). Prior to joining Baruch, I was a post-doctoral fellow at The University of Texas at Dallas, where I completed my PhD in Public Policy and Political Economy under the supervision of Dr. Brian J.L. Berry, and a visiting lecturer for the Program in Latino Studies at Princeton University.

My research seeks to produce scientific inquiries that measure and evaluate public policies and practices, with a focus on understanding social issues related to economic, political, and social development.

On its broadest level, my work applies advanced quantitative methods and socioeconomic theory to investigate the impact of policies on underrepresented and marginalized groups, providing empirical support for formulating policies addressing socioeconomic inequalities due to race, class, and gender in social, political, educational, and religious institutions. Furthermore, my research also evaluates the impact of public policies on the quality of life (a.k.a., well-being, happiness, life satisfaction) of urbanites, millennials, and minority groups (e.g. Latinos, immigrant workers, and women).

A little bit about my personal life:

I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and my family immigrated to the United States in 2000.

In my spare time, I love cooking with my husband (see also: Q&A with Dr. Araujo), playing the violin, and walking our three dogs. The newest addition to our family, our son Ber, is very cute and has been keeping us busy. I am currently on leave until February, 2022.


Peer Reviewed Articles:

NEW! Valente, R.R. and Okulicz-Kozaryn,A. "Religiosity and Trust: Evidence from the United States." Review of Religious Research, 63, 343-379, 2021 (.pdf)

Abstract This article tests the effect of several indicators of religiosity, including an index for both social and individual religiosity, on trust. Common religious doctrine instructs followers to place their trust solely in God, and can therefore be interpreted as a determinant of generalized trust. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to find out whether religious people are more likely to be distrustful of others and whether they are more likely to be misanthropic.

NEW! Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "Urban unhappiness is common." Cities , Volume 118, November 2021 (.pdf)
Abstract This study shows, for the first time, that city unhappiness is common across the world. We use the World Values Survey cumulative dataset 1981–2020 from www.worldvaluessurvey.org. In all developed countries, without exception, we find that city dwellers are not happier than rural residents.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Residential Segregation by Skin Color: Brazil Revisited." Latin America Research Review, 55(2), 207-226, 2020 (.pdf)
Abstract This paper examines residential segregation by skin color in forty of the largest metropolitan areas in Brazil, using census tract data from the 2010 Brazilian census. Residential dissimilarity among whites, browns, and blacks is moderate to low by U.S. standards, and residential segregation correlates positively with socio-economic status. By contrasting our findings with results from the 1980 Brazilian census, we observe that in thirty years residential segregation decreased significantly in many metropolitan areas, particularly white-brown and brown-black dissimilarities. We speculate as to why these changes should have occurred.

• Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "The Perennial Dissatisfaction of Urban Upbringing." Cities, 104, 2020 (.pdf)

Abstract This study provides new evidence to the urban malaise (unhappiness) hypothesis. A new key finding is added: Urban upbringing is associated with lower happiness levels later in life. This outcome is above and beyond the effect associated with living currently in a city. Strikingly, the negative effect of urbanicity in one's youth is about as strong statistically, and practically (effectsize), as the effect of urbanicity given one's current place of residence. In addition,our findings show that there may be a happiness benefit to growing up on a farm. The present study is inspired by Lederbogen et al.(2011) who showed that growing up in a city has a negative lasting effect in a person's life. We also find interactive effects: people who grew up in larger areas but live in smaller areas have lower levels of happiness than those who grew up in smaller areas and continue to live there. There is also an interactive effect with age: older people are happier if they grew up on a farm. These results aim to stimulate discussion by challenging the mainstream pro-urban view that people are happier in cities. This study is based on U.S. data, thus our results may not generalize to other countries or historical contexts.

• Valente, R.R., Berry, B. J. L., and Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. "An intensifying Urban-Rural Schism in U.S. Women's Preference for Governmental Solutions to Social Problems." The Professional Geographer, 72(3): 348-359, 2020 (.pdf)

Abstract During the Reagan Revolution, a significant gender gap emerged, accompanied by an urban–rural schism in party prefer-ence by gender, one manifestation of the nation’s widening urban–rural divide. Using the General Social Survey (GSS)data from 1972 to 2018, we explore this urban–rural schism in party preference by running several ordinary least squaresmodels and specifications. Controlling for individuals’traits, we find that differences in the preference for governmentalaction to address social problems lie at the heart of this gender gap and are further explained by location. Urban womenare far more likely than urban men to call for the government to solve problems of income inequality; rural women,like rural men, are much more likely to emphasize individual responsibility and self-sufficiency.

• Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "No Urban Malaise for Millennials." Regional Studies, 53(2): 195-205, 2019 (.pdf)

Abstract Urban malaise or unhappiness with city life is common in developed countries. City dwellers, particularly those in the largest metropolitan areas, are reported to be the least satisfied with their lives. Using the US General Social Survey (1972–2016),this paper explores the latest happiness trends. The results confirm earlier findings of urban malaise: Americans in generalare happiest in smaller cities and rural areas. However, the advantage of rural living is declining–rural Americans arebecoming less happy relative to urbanites. Most interestingly, the results show that the latest generation, termed `Millennials’(1982–2004), as opposed to earlier generations, are the happiest in large cities (an estimated magnitude larger than earning an additional US$100,000 in family income annually). The possible reasons for this trend areexplored and directions for future research are discussed.

• Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "Livability and Subjective Well-Being Across European Cities." Applied Research in Quality of Life, 14(1): 197-220, 2019 (.pdf)

Abstract This study documents for the first time the correlation between livability and subjective well-being (SWB) across European cities. Livability is measured with the popular Mercer Quality of Living Survey and correlates considerably with SWB, measured as place and life satisfactions. There are outliers, for instance: the “unlivable” but “happy” Belfast (fool’s paradise) and the “livable,” but “unhappy” Paris (fool’s hell). In addition, we find geographic patterns: while the Mercer index ranks higher Western cities, subjective well-being is higher in Northern cities. Smaller cities score higher on both livability and SWB, confirming thus the urban sociological theory of urban malaise while contradicting urban economic theory of city triumph.

• Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R. "Life Satisfaction of Career Women and Housewives." Applied Research in Quality of Life, 13(3): 603-632, 2018 (.pdf)

Abstract Profound changes in gender roles have taken place over the past several decades in the United States. Women’s roles have changed most: women are marrying later in life and at lower rates, having fewer children, and working more outside of the household. “Career women” are the new normal and housewifery has gone out of fashion. At the same time, women have become less happy. We use the US General Social Surveys from 1972 to 2014 to explore these latest trends. We find that, until recently, women were happier to be housewives or to work part-time than fulltime, especially, women who are older, married, with children, in middle or upper class, and living in suburbs or smaller places. The effect size of housewifery on subjective wellbeing (SWB) is mild to moderate, at about a fourth to a third of the effect of being unemployed. Therefore, we argue that one possible reason for the decline in average happiness for women was increased labor force participation. Yet, the happiness advantage of housewifery is declining among younger cohorts and career women may become happier than housewives in the future

• Valente, R.R. and Holmes, J.S. "Vamos Para Rua! Taking to the Streets - Protest in Brazil." Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies 5(2): 2017 (.pdf)

Abstract The unprecedented protests that unfolded in June 2013 in Brazil, surprised even the most observant Brazilian scholars. A local conflict over the increase of public transportation fare took an unexpected turn and ignited a massive nationwide mobilization. These protests have perplexed many because Brazil was not experiencing the context of economic or political instabilities that are common to other countries around the world, where massive protests have emerged. Using data from the World Values Survey, we developed a general analysis highlighting individual factors that were significant in explaining protest participation among Brazilians to shed light on possible indicators that could have predicted the recent mobilizations. In particular, this work seeks to understand the extent to which a change from materialist to post-materialist values, as theorized by Inglehart (1971), could contribute towards explaining the recent protests in Brazil. Our findings demonstrate that post-materialist values are a significant explanatory force in determining political participation in Brazil.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Performance of Students Admitted through Affirmative Action in Brazil." Latin American Research Review, 52(1): 18-34, 2017 (.pdf)

Abstract Following the implementation of Lei das Cotas (Affirmative Action Law) in Brazil, there has been debate on whether or not students who were admitted through affirmative action perform at the same level as students who were admitted through traditional methods. This paper examines the results of the ENADE (Exame Nacional de Desempenho dos Estudantes) examination in 2009-2012 to determine whether or not there is a relationship between students' performance at the university level and the manner of their admittance. We find that students who were admitted to public universities under affirmative action perform at similar levels to students who were not, while quota students in private universities perform slightly better than students admitted through traditional methods.

• Valente, R.R. "The Vicious Circle: Effects of Race and Class on University Entrance in Brazil." Race Ethnicity and Education. 20(6): 851-864, 2017 (.pdf)

Abstract Brazil has high levels of socio-economic inequality and an inequitable distribution of access to higher education. How much of this inequality is associated with race or class is an important question in light of current debate over affirmative action and the suitability of race and social targeted policies. There are those who claim that racial disparities in the educational system are a result of students' social status and not a result of racism, while others believe race is an important factor that superposes the effect of class. This study uses national data from Brazil's Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (National Secondary Education Exam - ENEM) to examine the relationship between race and access to higher education of high school students between 2004 and 2008. The results document a vicious circle which connects the schooling of the young with their race, socio-economic status, and university attendance.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Effects of Perceived Discrimination on the School Satisfaction of Brazilian High School Graduates." Brasiliana - Journal for Brazilian Studies, 5(1): 405-440, 2016 (.pdf)

Abstract This paper analyzes the consequences of peer victimization for the satisfaction with schooling ("happiness") of college-bound high school graduates in Brazil. Several types of victimization are explored including discrimination due to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, and disability. We compare the satisfaction with their schooling of students planning to head to college straight from high school and older students applying for college later in life ("nontraditional students"). We conclude that students who perceived that they had been discriminated against were more dissatisfied with their school experience than those who did not, ceteris paribus, and we relate level of dissatisfaction to type of discrimination. The older student evidence reveals that this dissatisfaction wanes with time and age, however. Our conclusions are based upon ordered logistic analyses of data for 2.4 million current high school seniors and 78.7 thousand older students drawn from the Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio questionnaire (ENEM).

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Acculturation of Immigrant Latinos into the U.S. Workplace: Evidence from the Working Hours-Life Satisfaction Relationship." Applied Research in Quality of Life, 12(2): 451-479, 2016 (.pdf)

Abstract This paper explores the working hours-happiness relationship of Latinos living in the United States and compares it with that of the host society. We find that immigrant Latinos have adopted American work-happiness relationships while having lower levels of subjective well-being. Acculturation plays an important role not only with respect to work attitudes, but also to social status, and it is the latter that affects the well-being of Latinos of color. Future quality-of-life research needs to analyze whether the dichotomy between work attitude and social status will persist or whether this vibrant and increasing group of immigrants who are so vital to the U.S. economy will both adapt to host society values and begin to introduce positive change in those values in a society where multiculturalism is on the rise.

• Valente, R.R. "The Impact of Race and Social Economic Status on University Admission at the University of São Paulo." Latin American & Caribbean Ethnic Studies, 11(2): 95-118, 2016 (.pdf)

Abstract This paper explores the relationship between race, class, and access to higher education by analyzing the characteristics of students admitted to the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil from 2004 to 2008. Employing novel data, the logistic regression results indicate that those accepted at USP are more likely to be white, from affluent families, to have studied in private high schools, to have enrolled in prep courses, and to have a mother who attained higher education. The findings posit that the lack of accessibility for nonwhites and lower income status students to higher education in Brazil, as exemplified by this case study, is an impediment to social mobility. The implications of these findings for future research and policy are discussed.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Dissatisfaction with city life? Latin America revisited." Cities 50, 62-67, 2016. (.pdf)

Abstract Data from the World Values Survey and AmericasBarometer are used in ordinal logistic models to evaluate life satisfaction in rural and urban areas in Latin America. Our findings indicate that, unlike the United States, in Latin America there is no evidence of rural-urban happiness differences. In Latin America familism is the key driving force, aspacial and transcending location.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A cross-cultural comparison of Latin America and the United States." Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(3): 1173-1204, 2016 (.pdf)

Abstract This paper compares the life satisfaction and working hours of Latin Americans and U.S. Americans using the AmericasBarometer and General Social Survey. Differences in cultural values, especially individualism versus familism, may be why Latin Americans are less happy than U.S. Americans when working longer hours.

• Valente, R.R. and Berry, B.J.L. "Countering Inequality: Brazil's Movimento Sem-Terra." Geographical Review 105(3): 1-20, July 2015 (.pdf)

Abstract Data from the Pesquisa Nacional de Educação na Reforma Agr&aaculte;ria (PNERA), the national survey of formerly-landless peasants residing in federal land reform settlements in Brazil, confirm that the Movimento Sem-Terra (MST) has been far more successful than other settlement movements in assuring a better quality of life for its members. This superior performance is attributed to an organizational structure that demands and assures membership involvement, and a commitment to participatory education in an environment that fosters and supports MST's goals and objectives. MST's members have higher self-perceived social status than members of non-MST movements, have better residential environments and more material possessions, and experience an education that emphasizes the movement's principles of social justice, radical democracy and humanist and socialist values.

• Valente, R.R. "Institutional Explanations for the Decline of the Congregação Cristã no Brasil." PentecoStudies 14(1), 2015 (.pdf)

Abstract For the first time since its inception, the Congregação Cristã no Brasil (CCB) has lost members—two hundred thousand members in the last decade—while other traditional Pentecostal churches' membership continue to grow. Based on survey research data, this study explores the diverse views of church members and how institutional factors affect the growth of the church.

• Valente, R.R. "From Inception to Present: The Diminishing Role of Women in the Congregação Cristã no Brasil." PNEUMA 37(1), 2015 (.pdf)

Abstract This article provides the first historical analysis of the role of women in the Congregação Cristã no Brasil, the oldest Pentecostal church in Brazil and the largest in the state of São Paulo. Drawing on qualitative data, this study also explores the diverse views of church members and their attitudes in regards to the current status of women in the church. In addition to providing empirical data on this denominational group, the article engages the wider debate about the role of women in the Pentecostal religious context.

"Effects of Racial Discrimination on High School Performance and College Admission in Brazil." (diss) UMI ProQuest (.pdf)

Abstract Racial discrimination against African-descendants in Brazil is an under analyzed and vastly pervasive problem in different levels of the educational system but most visible specifically in high schools students interactions. Racial discrimination in the school environment can be detrimental to the learning experience and associated with a negative quality of education. In this dissertation I explore the impact of racial discrimination in high school students using the socio-economic questionnaire of the Exame Nacional do Ensino Medio (National Secondary Education Exam - ENEM) between 2004 and 2008. The analysis indicates that students who were not victims of racial discrimination had a more positive quality of education than those who suffered racial discrimination and being a victim of racism can reduce a student's ENEM scores.

Book Chapters:

• Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. and Valente, R.R., "City Life: Glorification, Desire, and the Unconscious Size Fetish," In Ilan Kappor (Ed.) Psychoanalysis and the Global (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming 2018)

Book Review:

• Valente, R. R. & Phillips, B. (2019). ``The Practitioner's Bookshelf: New Books on Undocumented Storytellers in the United States and on the Crime of Aggression in International Law.'' Journal of Human Rights Practice, 11, 607-611. (.pdf)

Encyclopedia Entries:

Congregação Cristã no Brasil, Pentecostalism in Latin America,Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions, New York: Springer, 2018

The Twelve Articles of Faith, Pentecostalism in Latin America, Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions, New York: Springer, 2018

Editorial Work:

• Section Editor, "Pentecostalism in Latin America," Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions, edited by Henri Gooren (New York: Springer References, forthcoming 2019)

Media Coverage

• ``When it comes to building trust, belonging beats belief, study finds,'' at Religion News Service, January 28, 2021, Baptist Standard, January 29, 2021, Art in Real Life, January 30, 2021 and Church Leaders, February 1, 2021.

• ``Os detalhes da segregacao entre brancos e negros no Brasil, e a comparacao com os EUA'' at O Globo, July 2, 2020.

• ``Welcome to suburbia: the millennials done with city life- and city prices'' at The Guardian, July 26, 2018.

• ``Millennials viven mas felices en ciudades que en pequenos poblados'' at El Tiempo, July 12, 2018.

• ``Millennials are happiest in big cities, but they’re being priced out'' at Inman News, July 9, 2018.

• ``C”mon Get Happy: Study Tracks Generational Joy by Region'' at Professional Builder, June 29, 2018.

• ``Millennials are happiest in cities'' at CITYLAB, June 29, 2018.

• ``EPPS students honors top teachers with award'' at UTD News Center, June 13, 2016.

• ``The Valente family has made a family tradition of collecting degrees from UT Dallas'' at UTD Alumni, UT Dallas Commencement 2016.

• ``Not all Pentecostals are growing in Latin America'' at Religion Watch Archives, March 1, 2015

• Interview to discuss ``Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A cross-cultural comparison of Latin America and the United States'' at Brian Lehrer TV - Public Intellectual segment aired on CUNY TV, May 7th, 2015. Watch it here

• ``Family of Scholars Finds an Academic Home at UT Dallas,'' at UTD News Center, May 22, 2013.

• ``Symposium offers insight to human rights in Latin America,'' at Daily Toreador - Texas Tech, April 11, 2013.


So far, I have had 669 students, and counting!

From the Spring of 2012 to the Spring of 2016, I taught undergraduate courses at the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at UTDallas, being awarded three Outstanding Teaching Awards.

In the Spring of 2017, I taught for the Program in Latino Studies at Princeton University.

Since the Fall of 2017, I've been teaching Research and Analysis II, Quantitative Methods for Policy and Practice, and Principles of Survey Research at Baruch College (CUNY), where I was awarded the Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching.

• PAF 9172 - Research and Analysis II

Course Description This is a graduate level course which builds on the skills of data analysis and statistical inference learned in PAF 9170. This course exposes students to issues central to understanding and applying modern research to public management and policy making. These issues include the use of theory and models, identifying causes, experiments and quasi-experiments, the logic of control variables and the interpretation of multiple regression, measurement concepts and methods, qualitative methods, and sampling. The emphasis is on learning these ideas through practice with many different examples of real-world research and empirical evidence. Ethical, political and other contextual factors will be integrated.

Fall 2019 (Course Evaluation)
Spring 2019 (Course Evaluation)
Spring 2018 (Course Evaluation)
Fall 2017 (Course Evaluation)

• PAF 3401 Section PTRA - Quantitative Methods for Policy and Practice

Course Description This course introduces students to the use of quantitative research methods and tools that are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. Students will learn how and why professionals use different research methods and data analytic techniques. Where appropriate real world data will be examined to familiarize students with the issues that professionals and researchers address and to explore how research and empirical evidence are used to drive decision-making. Students are introduced to the concepts and skills underlying a systematic approach to conducting research, including basic research terminology, the scientific method, use of theory and models, research ethics, measurement, sampling, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis.

Fall 2019 (Course Evaluation)
Spring 2019 (Course Evaluation)
Fall 2018 (Course Evaluation Section A and Section B )
Spring 2018 (Course Evaluation)
Fall 2017 (Course Evaluation)

• PAF 3501 - Principles of Survey Research

Course Description This course introduces students to the theory and application of survey research methods in data collection. Course material will cover both theoretical and practical issues in survey methods, with a particular focus on primary sources of error in survey research: measurement, sampling, coverage, and response. The course will include hands-on development of a survey instrument and discussion of how to minimize and account for error when conducting a survey. No prior experience in survey methods is expected and the course is designed primarily for those who intend to use surveys in their own research – whether designing original surveys or performing secondary analysis on survey data collected by others. Whenever possible, we will use examples and data from real surveys employed by academic researchers, professional survey firms, and Federal statistical agencies. Course assignments will require students to actively participate in every stage of the survey process, from initial design to final analysis.

Spring 2018 (Course Evaluation)
Fall 2017 (Course Evaluation)

• LAO 200 - Latinos in American Life and Culture

Course Description This course examines how Latinos are transforming the United States socially, culturally and economically even as they evolve as a people. We will discuss Hispanicity as a hybrid ethno-racial identity, debate the issue of and ethical dilemmas posed by undocumented immigration, evaluate the implications of Latinos' unprecedented geographic dispersal, explore what the growing second generation portends for future socio-economic inequality and political influence, and consider cultural imprints through music, literature and theater.

Spring 2017 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

• EPPS 3405 - Introduction to Social Statistics with Lab

Course Description This course introduces students to the basic tools of statistics and shows how they are used in the analysis of social science data. A fundamental understanding of these tools is a critical foundation for social science research in many fields. The course covers descriptive statistics, inference from samples, hypothesis testing, and the basics of regression analysis. NOTE: This course is required of all social science majors and is a prerequisite for a required course in social science research methods within each discipline.

Spring 2016 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)
Spring 2015 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)
Spring 2014 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)
Spring 2013 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

• IPEC 3349 - World Resources and Development

Course Description This course provides an introduction to issues in developing countries from an interdisciplinary point of view using the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which form the major current international development agenda, as a steppingstone. Contemporary issues such as disease, hunger, education, and environmental sustainability will be discussed from a development perspective. Concepts such as poverty, famine, trade, justice, debt and gender are introduced and used as critical tools to assess major challenges to development in general, and the MDG agenda in particular. See syllabus for more details.

Fall 2015 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)
Fall 2014 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)
Fall 2013 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)
Fall 2012 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

• SOC3336 - Culture Regions Brazil

Course Description This course is an introduction to Brazilian culture and society. Attention is given to history, geography, cinema, literature, art and issues of race, gender, social inequality, and behavior as they lead toward a fuller understanding of Brazil. This course covers major aspects of Brazilian society. The main texts review significant events and forces that have helped shape Brazil today. A variety of films and videos will be used.

Spring 2012 (Syllabus and Course Evaluation)

Copyright © 2013-2021 Rubia R. Valente. Last updated on December 17, 2021.