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Equiality of Opportunity and Kernel Density Estimation: An Application to Intergenerational Mobility

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  • Donal O'Neill

    ()

  • Olive Sweetman

    ()

  • Dirk van de gaer

    ()
    (Economics, National University of Ireland, Maynooth)

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    Abstract

    When economists talk about equality, they typically have equality of outcomes, like welfare or income in mind. However such a view of equality is not entirely satisfactory and theories of equality of opportunity have been developed and proposed as an alternative. While there has been some theoretical discussion of equality of opportunity in the public choice literature, the empirical implementation of many of these issues has been limited. In this paper we develop a nonparametric estimator of the opportunity sets facing individuals with different characteristics. This estimator allows us to visualise the choices available to individuals of different types. We then use this estimator to reexamine the intergenerational transmission process. Our estimates indicate that even for children who exhibit the same degree of responsibility, those from richer families earn substantially more than those from poorer families.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n950999.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n950999

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    Postal: Maynooth, Co. Kildare
    Phone: 353-1-7083728
    Fax: 353-1-7083934
    Web page: http://economics.nuim.ie
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    Related research

    Keywords: equality of opportunity; kernel density estimation; intergenerational mobility;

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    References

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    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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    1. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equal Opportunity or Equal Social Outcome?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 25-55, April.
    2. IÓigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe, 1997. "Redistribution and individual characteristics," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 45-55.
    3. Gravel, Nicolas, 1994. "Ranking Opportunity Sets on the Basis of their Freedom of Choice and their Ability to Satisfy Preferences : A Difficulty," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1994008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    4. Bossert, Walter, 1995. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-17, February.
    5. Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1996. "Redistribution and compensation (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 343-355.
    6. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    7. Fleurbaey Marc, 1995. "Three Solutions for the Compensation Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 505-521, April.
    8. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
    9. Trede, Mark, 1997. "Making mobility visible: A graphical device," Discussion Papers in Statistics and Econometrics 2/97, University of Cologne, Department for Economic and Social Statistics.
    10. Bossert Walter & Pattanaik Prasanta K. & Xu Yongsheng, 1994. "Ranking Opportunity Sets: An Axiomatic Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 326-345, August.
    11. Julian R. Betts & John E. Roemer, . "Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform," Department of Economics 99-8, California Davis - Department of Economics.
    12. 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.
    13. Kranich, Laurence, 1996. "Equitable Opportunities: An Axiomatic Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 131-147, October.
    14. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equality and responsibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 683-689, April.
    15. Dirk Van de gaer & Michel Martinez & Erik Schokkaert, 1998. "Measuring Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9810, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
    16. Roemer, J.E., 1992. "A Pragmatic Theory of Responsibility for the Egalitarian Planner," Papers 391, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
    17. Dirk Van de gaer; & Michel Martinez; & Erik Schokkaert, 1998. "Measuring Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n780598, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    18. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian," Labor and Demography 9808001, EconWPA.
    19. Dirk Van de gaer & Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1999. "Responsibility, talent, and compensation: A second-best analysis," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 35-55.
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    Cited by:
    1. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Equality of Opportunity: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," THEMA Working Papers 2006-13, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

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