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Measuring Opportunity Inequality with Monetary Transfers

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  • Laurence Kranich
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    Abstract

    In this paper I consider the problem of measuring opportunity inequality when monetary transfers are possible. First, I consider the case in which agents have homogeneous preferences, as in the previous literature, and I then propose an extension to the heterogeneous case. In both, I identify an appropriate egalitarian benchmark relative to which inequality can be measured, and I establish that this yields a theory of measurement analogous to that of income inequality. This overcomes a difficulty recently reported Ok (1997). Finally, I discuss the benchmark notion of equal shadow wealth as a new concept of fairness. The results of the paper are immediately applicable to the measurement of multidimensional economic inequality including economies with indivisible goods.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 99-02.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:99-02

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    Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
    Phone: (518) 442-4735
    Fax: (518) 442-4736

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    Postal: Department of Economics, BA 110 University at Albany State University of New York Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
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    Web: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/index.shtml

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    Keywords: Opportunities; inequality; measurement;

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    Cited by:
    1. John A. Weymark, 2001. "Generalized Gini Indices of Equality of Opportunity," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0114, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics, revised Jun 2002.

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