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Inequality of Opportunity in Spain: New Insights from New Data

Author

Listed:
  • Leopoldo Cabrera

    (Universidad de La Laguna, CEDESOG and ISTUR)

  • Gustavo A. Marrero

    (Universidad de La Laguna, EQUALITAS and CEDESOG)

  • Juan Gabriel Rodríguez

    (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, ICAE, EQUALITAS and CEDESOG)

  • Pedro Salas-Rojo

    (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, ICAE and EQUALITAS)

Abstract

Modern theories of social justice consider Inequality of Opportunity (IO), the part of overall inequality explained by individual circumstances (factors beyond the individual control, like socioeconomic background), as the truly concept of unfair inequality. In addition, recent empirical studies have found that IO harms growth. Then, given the big increase in income inequality in Spain during the last decade (now one of the highest levels in the EU), how large is IO in Spain? By using a novel database from the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS) questionnaire on ‘Social inequality and social mobility in Spain’, we observe that the share of IO is 44% of overall inequality (Gini index). By circumstances, we find that about 90% of IO is due to parental education and occupation, the type of school attended, the gender of the household’s head and the size of the household. In addition, it is found that a large share of IO is channeled through the occupation and, especially, the level of education of the individual. These findings are consistent with the low levels of relative mobility in education and occupation observed in the database for Spain (2017)

Suggested Citation

  • Leopoldo Cabrera & Gustavo A. Marrero & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez & Pedro Salas-Rojo, 2021. "Inequality of Opportunity in Spain: New Insights from New Data," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 237(2), pages 153-185, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2021:v:237:i:2:p:153-185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality of opportunity; Intergenerational mobility; Educational channel; Occupational channel; Spain;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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