Equality Of Opportunity And Opportunity Dominance
AbstractAll conceptions of equal opportunity draw on some distinction between morally justified and unjustified inequalities. We discuss how this distinction varies across a range of philosophical positions. We find that these positions often advance equality of opportunity in tandem with distributive principles based on merit, desert, consequentialist criteria or individuals responsibility for outcomes. The result of this amalgam of principles is a festering controversy that unnecessarily diminishes the widespread acceptability of opportunity concerns. We therefore propose to restore the conceptual separation of opportunity principles concerning unjustified inequalities from distributive principles concerning justifiable inequalities. On this view, equal opportunity implies that that morally irrelevant factors should engender no differences in individuals attainment, while remaining silent on inequalities due to morally relevant factors. We examine this idea by introducing the principle of opportunity dominance and explore in a simple application to what extent this principle may help us arbitrate between opposing distributive principles. We also compare this principle to the selection rules developed by John Roemer and Dirk Van de Gaer.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.
Volume (Year): 20 (2004)
Issue (Month): 01 (April)
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- Erwin Ooghe & Erik Schokkaert & Dirk gaer, 2007.
"Equality of Opportunity versus Equality of Opportunity Sets,"
Social Choice and Welfare,
Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 209-230, February.
- E. Ooghe & E. Schokkaert & D. Van De Gaer, 2004. "Equality of opportunity versus equality of opportunity sets," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/240, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
- Erwin Ooghe & Erik Schokkaert & Dirk Van de Gaer, 2003. "Equality of opportunity versus equality of opportunity sets," Public Economics Working Paper Series wpeoeos, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
- Denis Cogneau, 2005. "Equality of opportunity and other equity principles in the context of developing countries," Working Papers DT/2005/01, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
- Gaston Yalonetzky, 2010. "A Dissimilarity Index of Multidimensional Inequality of Opportunity (Revised and Updated)," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp0039, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
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