Equality of Opportunity and the Distribution of Long-Run Income in Sweden
AbstractEquality of opportunity is an ethical goal with almost universal appeal. The interpretation taken here is that a society has achieved equality of opportunity if it is the case that what individuals accomplish, with respect to some desirable objective, is determined wholly by their choices and personal effort, rather than by circumstances beyond their control. We use data for Swedish men born between 1955 and 1967 for whom we measure the distribution of long-run income, as well as several important background circumstances, such as parental education and income, family structure and own IQ before adulthood. We address the question: in Sweden, given its present constellation of social policies and institutions, to what extent is existing income inequality due to circumstances, as opposed to 'effort'? Our results suggest that several circumstances, importantly both parental income and own IQ, are important for long-run income inequality, but that variations in individual effort account for the most part of that inequality.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5466.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & John Roemer, 2012. "Equality of opportunity and the distribution of long-run income in Sweden," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 675-696, July.
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
- C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-EUR-2011-02-12 (Microeconomic European Issues)
- NEP-LTV-2011-02-12 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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.:
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