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Measuring and implementing equality of opportunity for income

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  • Vito Peragine

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Abstract

Departing from the welfarist tradition, recent theories of justice focus on individual opportunities as the appropriate standard for distributive judgments. To explore how this philosophical conception can be translated into concrete public policy, we select the income as relevant outcome and the income tax as the relevant redistributive policy, and we address the following questions: (i) what is the degree of opportunity inequality in an income distribution? (ii) how to design an opportunity egalitarian income tax policy? Several criteria for ranking income distributions on the basis of equality of opportunities are derived. Moreover, we characterize an opportunity egalitarian income tax and we formulate criteria for choosing among alternative tax schedules. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2004

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00355-003-0282-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 22 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 187-210

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:22:y:2004:i:1:p:187-210

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  1. Roemer, J.E., 1992. "A Pragmatic Theory of Responsibility for the Egalitarian Planner," Papers 391, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  2. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
  3. Herrero, Carmen, 1997. "Equitable opportunities: an extension," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 91-95, August.
  4. Kranich, L., 1993. "Equitable Opportunities: An Axiomatic Approach," Papers 3-93-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. W. Bossert & M. Fleurbaey & D. Van de gaer, 1996. "On second-best compensation," THEMA Working Papers 96-07, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  6. Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1996. "Redistribution and compensation (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 343-355.
  7. Laurence Kranich, 1996. "Equitable opportunities in economic environments," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 57-64.
  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.
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