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Inequality of Opportunity for Income in Five Countries of Africa

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  • Cogneau, Denis
  • Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine

Abstract

This paper examines for the first time inequality of opportunity for income in Africa, by analyzing large-sample surveys, all providing information on individuals' parental background, in five comparable Sub-Saharan countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar and Uganda. We compute inequality of opportunity indexes in keeping with the main proposals in the literature, and propose a decomposition of between-country differences that distinguishes the respective impacts of intergenerational mobility between social origins and positions, of the distribution of education and occupations, and of the earnings structure. Among our five countries, Ghana in 1988 has by far the lowest income inequality between individuals of different social origins, while Madagascar in 1993 displays the highest inequality of opportunity from the same point of view. Ghana in 1998, Ivory Coast in 1985-88, Guinea in 1994 and Uganda in 1992 stand in-between and can not be ranked without ambiguity. Inequality of opportunity for income seems to correlate with overall income inequality more than with national average income. Decompositions reveal that the two former British colonies (Ghana and Uganda) share a much higher intergenerational educational and occupational mobility than the three former French colonies. Further, Ghana distinguishes itself from the four other countries, because of the combination of widespread secondary schooling, low returns to education and low income dualism against agriculture. Nevertheless, it displays marked regional inequality insofar as being born in the Northern part of this country produces a significant restriction of income opportunities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/4320.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in Inequality and Opportunity: Papers from the Second ECINEQ Society Meeting, . pp. 99-128.Length: 29 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/4320

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Keywords: Income inequality; Equality of opportunity; Intergenerational mobility; Africa; inégalité de revenu; égalité de chance; mobilité intergénérationnelle; Afrique;

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Cited by:
  1. Paolo Brunori & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Vito Peragine, 2013. "Inequality of Opportunity, Income Inequality and Economic Mobility: Some International Comparisons," Working Papers 284, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. KUEPIE Mathias & NOUETAGNI Samuel, 2013. "Socioeconomic background, human capital and youth employment: the case of a medium-sized Cameroonian city (Bafia)," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2013-09, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  3. Ramos, Xavi & Van de gaer, Dirk, 2012. "Empirical Approaches to Inequality of Opportunity: Principles, Measures, and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 6672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Denis Cogneau, 2009. "The political dimension of inequality during economic development," Working Papers DT/2009/10, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  5. Francisco H.G. Ferreira, 2012. "Inequality of Opportunity Around the World: What Do We Know So Far?," World Bank - Inequality in Focus, The World Bank, vol. 1(1), pages 8 - 11, April.
  6. Jean-François Carpantier & Christelle Sapata, 2013. "An Ex-Post View of Inequality of Opportunity in France and its Regions," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 281-311, September.
  7. Rouanet, Léa & Cogneau, Denis, 2011. "Living Conditions in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Western Africa 1925-1985: What do Survey Data on Height Stature tell us?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4300, Paris Dauphine University.
  8. CARPANTIER, Jean-François & SAPATA, Christelle, 2012. "Unfair inequalities in France: A regional comparison," CORE Discussion Papers 2012038, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Zhang, Yingqiang & Eriksson, Tor, 2009. "Inequality of Opportunity and Income Inequality in Nine Chinese Provinces, 1989-2006," Working Papers 09-18, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Luis F. Lopez-Calva, 2012. "Declining Income Inequality in Brazil: The Proud Outlier," World Bank - Inequality in Focus, The World Bank, vol. 1(1), pages 5-8, April.
  11. Pedro Olinto & Jaime Saavedra, 2012. "An Overview of Global Income Inequality Trends," World Bank - Inequality in Focus, The World Bank, vol. 1(1), pages 1-4, April.

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