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Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity

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  • Vito Peragine

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Abstract

According to the opportunity egalitarian ethics, economic inequalities due to factors beyond the individual responsibility are inequitable and to be compensated by society, whereas inequalities due to personal responsibility are equitable and not to be compensated. In this paper we derive welfare and inequality criteria that respect this principle of justice. We characterize axiomatically classes of opportunity egalitarian social evaluation functions. Then, by requiring unanimous agreement among such classes, we provide simple distributional conditions to rank income distributions. These criteria extend the Lorenz and generalized Lorenz partial orderings, commonly used in the unidimensional case of income distributions, to the current context of equality of opportunity. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/B:JOEI.0000028404.17138.1e
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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 2 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 11-30

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:2:y:2004:i:1:p:11-30

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

Related research

Keywords: economic inequality; equality of opportunity; income distributions; Lorenz dominance; social welfare;

References

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  1. Vitorocco Peragine, . "Measuring and Implementing Equality of Opportunity for Income," Discussion Papers 98/11, Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2006. "Compensation and responsibility," Working Papers halshs-00121367, HAL.
  3. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
  4. Kranich, L., 1993. "Equitable Opportunities: An Axiomatic Approach," Papers 3-93-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. John Roemer & Julian R. Betts, 2003. "Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform," Working Papers 998, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. Bossert, Walter, 1995. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, February.
  7. Peragine, Vitorocco, 2002. "Opportunity egalitarianism and income inequality," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 45-64, September.
  8. Efe A. Ok & Laurence Kranich, 1998. "The measurement of opportunity inequality: a cardinality-based approach," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 263-287.
  9. Fleurbaey Marc, 1995. "Three Solutions for the Compensation Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 505-521, April.
  10. Dasgupta, Partha & Sen, Amartya & Starrett, David, 1973. "Notes on the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 180-187, April.
  11. Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 1986. "The Measurement and Decomposition of Multi-dimensional Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 991-97, July.
  12. Peragine, Vitorocco, 1999. " The Distribution and Redistribution of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 37-69, February.
  13. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  14. Van de Gaer, Dirk & Schokkaert, Erik & Martinez, Michel, 2001. "Three Meanings of Intergenerational Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 519-37, November.
  15. Ok, Efe A. & Lambert, Peter J., 1999. "On evaluating social welfare by sequential generalized Lorenz dominance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 45-53, April.
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