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Equality of opportunity and optimal cash and in-kind policies

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  • Gasparini, Leonardo C.
  • Pinto, Santiago M.

Abstract

This paper examines the argument for public provision of certain private goods, like education and health, based on equality of opportunity by studying the utility possibility frontier of a society in which there is a concern for the distribution of these goods. A given quality of education or health services can be consumed for free in the public sector, but people can opt-out and purchase their desired quality levels in the private sector. Some of the conclusions are: (i) a pure cash transfer is optimal when the utility redistribution is either “sufficiently” small or large; (ii) if and only if both the equality-of-opportunity concern and the utility redistribution are large enough, can an in-kind program which attracts the whole population be justified; (iii) even when everybody chooses the in-kind program, it may be optimal to perform some additional utility redistribution by increasing the size of such program.
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  • Gasparini, Leonardo C. & Pinto, Santiago M., 2006. "Equality of opportunity and optimal cash and in-kind policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 143-169, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:90:y:2006:i:1-2:p:143-169
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    7. Matthew Greenblatt, 2020. "In-kind transfers and home production," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1189-1211, December.
    8. Sebastian Galiani & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2012. "Modeling Informality Formally: Households And Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 821-838, July.
    9. Teh, Tse-Ling, 2017. "Insurance design in the presence of safety nets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 47-58.
    10. König, Tobias & Lausen, Tobias, 2016. "Relative consumption preferences and public provision of private goods," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-213, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    11. Paula Giovagnoli, 2007. "Failures in school progression," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0050, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
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    13. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2008. "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 333-383, June.
    14. Gasparini, Leonardo C. & Pinto, Santiago M., 2006. "Equality of opportunity and optimal cash and in-kind policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 143-169, January.
    15. Fábio D. Waltenberg, 2010. "Essential educational achievements as the currency of educational justice," Revista Cuadernos de Economia, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, FCE, CID, June.
    16. Hörcher, Daniel & De Borger, Bruno & Graham, Daniel J., 2023. "Subsidised transport services in a fiscal federation: Why local governments may be against decentralised service provision," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 34(C).
    17. Ricardo Bebczuk & Francisco Haimovich, 2007. "MDGs and Microcredit: An Empirical Evaluation for Latin American Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0048, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
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    19. Maribel Jimenez & Monica Jimenez, 2009. "La Movilidad Intergeneracional del Ingreso: Evidencia para Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0084, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    20. Lopez-Rodriguez, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of In-Kind Redistribution," MPRA Paper 44152, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2012.
    21. Ricardo N. Bebczuk, 2008. "Dolarización y Pobreza en Ecuador," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0066, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    22. Galiani, Sebastián & Gertler, Paul J. & Undurraga, Raimundo & Cooper, Ryan & Martínez, Sebastián & Ross, Adam, 2017. "Shelter from the storm: Upgrading housing infrastructure in Latin American slums," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 187-213.
    23. Leopoldo Tornarolli & Adriana Conconi, 2007. "Informalidad y Movilidad Laboral: Un Análisis Empírico para Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0059, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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