Inequality of Opportunity in Brazil
AbstractThis paper proposes a measure of the contribution of unequal opportunities to earnings inequality. Drawing on the distinction between ‘circumstance’ and ‘effort’ variables in John Roemer’s work on equality of opportunity, we associate inequality of opportunities with five observed circumstances which lie beyond the control of the individual – father’s and mother’s education; father’s occupation; race; and region of birth. The paper provides a range of estimates of the importance of these opportunity-forming circumstances in accounting for earnings inequality in one of the world’s most unequal countries. We also decompose the effect of opportunities into a direct effect on earnings and an indirect component, which works through the “effort” variables. The decomposition is applied to the distribution of male earnings in urban Brazil, in 1996. The five observed circumstances are found to account for between 10% and 37% of the Theil index, depending on cohort and allowing for the possibility of biased coefficient estimates due to unobserved correlates. On average, sixty percent of this impact operates through the direct effect on earnings. Parental education is the most important circumstance affecting earnings, but the occupation of the father and race also play a role.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/1552.
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of Income and Wealth, 2007, Vol. 53, no. 4. pp. 585-618.Length: 33 pages
Inequality of opportunity; earnings inequality; Brazil; Measurement and Analysis of Poverty; Welfare Programs;
Other versions of this item:
- Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H.B. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2005. "Inequality of Opportunity in Brazil," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 133, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lam, David & Schoeni, Robert F, 1993.
"Effects of Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 710-40, August.
- Lam. D. & Schoeni, R.F., 1996. "Effects on Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil," Papers 96-13, RAND - Reprint Series.
- Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1993.
"Intertemporal Choice and Inequality,"
NBER Working Papers
4328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Paes de Barrios, Ricardo, 1999. "The slippery slope : explaining the increase in extreme poverty in urban Brazil, 1976-96," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2210, The World Bank.
- Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
- Behrman, Jere R & Birdsall, Nancy, 1983. "The Quality of Schooling: Quantity Alone is Misleading," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 928-46, December.
- Julian R. Betts & John E. Roemer, .
"Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform,"
Department of Economics
99-8, California Davis - Department of Economics.
- John Roemer & Julian R. Betts, 2003. "Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform," Working Papers 998, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
- Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2001.
"Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America,"
6485, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Jere Behrman R. & Alejandro Gavieria Uribe & Miguel Szekely Sánchez, 2001. "Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," WORKING PAPERS SERIES. DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 002914, FEDESARROLLO.
- Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4267, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
- Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
- Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998.
"Monotone Instrumental Variables: With an Application to the Returns to Schooling,"
Virginia Economics Online Papers
308, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
- Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 2000. "Monotone Instrumental Variables, with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 997-1012, July.
- Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," NBER Technical Working Papers 0224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bowles, Samuel, 1972. "Schooling and Inequality from Generation to Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S219-S51, Part II, .
- Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S74-S103, Part II, .
- Piketty, Thomas, 1995.
"Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 551-84, August.
- Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
- Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
- Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S184-S224, December.
- Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Peter Lanjouw & Marcelo Côrtes Neri, 2003.
"A Robust Poverty Profile for Brazil Using Multiple Data Sources,"
Revista Brasileira de Economia,
FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 57(1), pages 59-92, January.
- Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lanjouw, Peter & Neri, Marcelo Cortes, 2002. "A Robust Poverty Profile for Brazil Using Multiple Data Sources," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 444, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alexandre Faure).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.