Gilvan Guedes

Visiting Scholar

Gilvan is a professor of Demography at Center for Regional Development and Planning (CEDEPLAR), a research center at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil. Gilvan received his PhD in Demography from Cedeplar/UFMG in 2010, was a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University before coming to Penn on his sabbatical in 2016. Gilvan’s interest in demography stemmed from a somewhat chance encounter. As he was considering graduate programs in economics a friend encouraged Guedes to apply for a PhD program in demography. Shortly thereafter he was all in.


“There are a hundred different ways of explaining phenomena and demography balances many different disciplines.” - Gilvan Guedes

He also spoke about the competitive yet collaborative nature of the demography community.

Guedes’ research has focused on the many ways in which population and environmental issues connect. In the last few years, he has devoted research efforts to understanding the connection between land use systems and household demography, environmental attitude and behavior, field and quantitative methods applied to population studies, and economic development. With connections to Janice Madden, Hans-Peter Kohler and Tukufu Zuberi he came to work on a project that aims to assemble micro-socioeconomic data in Brazil about the development of poverty and inequality over time and across space. He has been analyzing the effects of economic labor markets on poverty rates and income inequality, including the influence of minimum salary rises. Gilvan is also interested in how these income changes affect urban versus rural geographic regions.

Guedes also found a connection in his research to Philadelphia as the city goes through significant demographic and economic change itself. Gilvan appreciated the “real feel” of Philadelphia as a visitor. Throughout his time here he ate his way around the city, went to the Barnes and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and attended classical music concerts at the Kimmel Center for the Arts. While on sabbatical Gilvan navigated the balance between research and mentoring his students back in Brazil, practiced his English, attended workshops at Penn and presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America. He thoroughly enjoyed his time at the PSC and wanted to send a special thank you to Dawn Ryan, Tanya Yang and Julia Crane for guiding him through every detail of adjusting to Penn. Over the course of the year Guedes expanded not only his research but his life experiences and thanks Penn, Philadelphia and the Brazilian government for the funding provided for his sabbatical.