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Decentralizing Equality Of Opportunity

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  • Caterina Calsamiglia

Abstract

In a global justice problem, equality of opportunity is satisfied if individual well-being is independent of exogenous irrelevant characteristics. Policymakers, however, address questions involving local justice problems. We interpret a collection of local justice problems as the decentralized global justice problem. We show that controlling for effort locally, which is not required by the global justice objective, is sufficient for decentralizing equality of opportunity. Moreover, under some conditions, equalizing rewards to effort is not only sufficient but necessary. This implies in particular that most affirmative action policies may not contribute to providing equality of opportunity. Copyright © (2009) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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  • Caterina Calsamiglia, 2009. "Decentralizing Equality Of Opportunity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 273-290, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:50:y:2009:i:1:p:273-290
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    Cited by:

    1. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Franke, Jörg & Rey-Biel, Pedro, 2013. "The incentive effects of affirmative action in a real-effort tournament," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 15-31.
    2. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Equality of Opportunity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1921, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. Kirkegaard, René, 2012. "Favoritism in asymmetric contests: Head starts and handicaps," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 226-248.
    4. Ozgur Ekmekci, 2013. "Equality of Outcome or Equality of Opportunity? A Simulation of Wealth Distribution Using Agent-based Modeling," Research in World Economy, Research in World Economy, Sciedu Press, vol. 4(2), pages 1-11, September.
    5. Daniel Gerszon Mahler & Xavier Ramos, 2017. "Equality of Opportunity for Well-Being," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 927, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Franke, Jörg, 2012. "Affirmative action in contest games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 105-118.

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