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A dissimilarity index of multidimensional inequality of opportunity

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  • Gaston Yalonetzky

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Abstract

A recent literature on inequality of opportunity offers quantitative tools for comparisons and measurement based on stochastic dominance criteria and traditional inequality indices. In this paper I suggest an additional way of assessing inequality of opportunity with two indices of dissimilarity across distributions. The indices are based on a traditional homogeneity test of multinomial distributions and are similar to the square coefficient of variation (Reardon and Firebaugh, Sociol Method 32:33–67, 2002 ). Their properties are studied, as well as their usefulness and limitations in applications when both circumstances and advantages/outcomes are multidimensional. An empirical application measures changes in inequality of opportunity from an old to a young cohort in Peru. The importance of assessing the sensitivity of the results to group definitions and group proportions is highlighted. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10888-010-9162-z
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Economic Inequality.

Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 343-373

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:343-373

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Web page: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=111137

Related research

Keywords: Inequality of opportunity; Dissimilarity index;

References

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  1. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
  2. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591.
  3. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
  4. Jean-Yves Duclos & David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 943-968, October.
  5. Chris Elbers & Peter Lanjouw & Johan Mistiaen & Berk Özler, 2008. "Reinterpreting between-group inequality," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 231-245, September.
  6. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
  8. Hild, Matthias & Voorhoeve, Alex, 2004. "Equality Of Opportunity And Opportunity Dominance," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 117-145, April.
  9. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Asadullah, Niaz & Yalonetzky, Gaston, 2010. "Inequality of Educational Opportunity in India: Changes over Time and across States," IZA Discussion Papers 5146, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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