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A Dissimilarity Index of Multidimensional Inequality of Opportunity (Revised and Updated)

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  • Gaston Yalonetzky

Abstract

A recent literature on inequality of opportunity o¤ers quantitative tools for comparisons and measurement based on stochastic dominance criteria and traditional inequality indices. In this paper I suggest an additional way of assessing inequality of opportunity with two indices of dissimilarity across distributions. The indices are based on a traditional homogeneity test of multinomial distributions and are similar to the square coe¢ cient of variation (Reardon and Firebaugh, 2002). Their properties are studied, as well as their usefulness and limitations in applications when both circumstances and advantages/outcomes are multidimensional. An empirical application measures changes in inequality of opportunity from an old to a young cohort in Peru. The importance of assessing the sensitivity of the results to group de?nitions and group proportions is highlighted.

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Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series OPHI Working Papers with number ophiwp0039.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp0039

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  1. Jean-Yves Duclos & David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 943-968, October.
  2. repec:ese:iserwp:2005-15 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Inequality of opportunities vs. inequality of outcomes: Are Western societies all alike?," Working Papers 54, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  4. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
  5. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
  6. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
  7. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2005. "Robust Multidimensional Spatial Poverty Comparisons in Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda," Cahiers de recherche 0528, CIRPEE.
  8. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
  9. Hild, Matthias & Voorhoeve, Alex, 2004. "Equality Of Opportunity And Opportunity Dominance," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 117-145, April.
  10. Thomas Bossuroy & Denis Cogneau, 2008. "Social Mobility and Colonial Legacy in Five African Countries," Working Papers DT/2008/10, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  11. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Lefranc, Arnaud & Pistolesi, Nicolas & Trannoy, Alain, 2009. "Equality of opportunity and luck: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1189-1207, December.
  13. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons with Discrete Indicators of Well-being," Cahiers de recherche 0628, CIRPEE.
  14. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jose R. Molinas Vega & Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2580, January.
  15. Chris Elbers & Peter Lanjouw & Johan Mistiaen & Berk Özler, 2008. "Reinterpreting between-group inequality," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 231-245, September.
  16. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591.
  17. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Carmen Herrero & Antonio Villar, 2012. "On the comparison of group performance with categorical Data," Working Papers 12.03, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  2. Asadullah, Niaz & Yalonetzky, Gaston, 2010. "Inequality of Educational Opportunity in India: Changes over Time and across States," IZA Discussion Papers 5146, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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