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Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity

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  • Vito Peragine

Abstract

According to the opportunity egalitarian ethics, economic inequalities due to factors beyond the individual responsibility are inequitable and to be compensated by society, whereas inequalities due to personal responsibility are equitable and not to be compensated. In this paper we derive welfare and inequality criteria that respect this principle of justice. We characterize axiomatically classes of opportunity egalitarian social evaluation functions. Then, by requiring unanimous agreement among such classes, we provide simple distributional conditions to rank income distributions. These criteria extend the Lorenz and generalized Lorenz partial orderings, commonly used in the unidimensional case of income distributions, to the current context of equality of opportunity. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:2:y:2004:i:1:p:11-30
    DOI: 10.1023/B:JOEI.0000028404.17138.1e
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    References listed on IDEAS

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