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Channels of Inequality of Opportunity: The Role of Education and Occupation in Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Juan C. Palomino

    (University of Oxford
    EQUALITAS
    CEDESOG)

  • Gustavo A. Marrero

    (Universidad de la Laguna
    EQUALITAS
    CEDESOG)

  • Juan G. Rodríguez

    (Universidad Complutense de Madrid
    EQUALITAS
    CEDESOG)

Abstract

Inequality of Opportunity (IO) refers to that inequality stemming from factors, called circumstances, beyond the scope of individual responsibility, such as gender, race, place of birth or socioeconomic background. In general, circumstances do not directly convert into future individual’s income. Indeed, different circumstances in childhood lead to different levels of education and different occupational categories which, in turn, contribute to generate divergent levels of income during adulthood. Using the Intergenerational Transmission modules in 2005 and 2011 from the EU-SILC, we estimate the importance of attained education and occupational category as mediating channels in the generation of IO in 26 European countries. We find that the attained level of education channels up to 30% of total IO, with important differences across Europe. Once attained education is taken into account, occupation explains less than 5% of IO in most countries. Moreover, the importance of education as a channel for IO is negatively correlated both with the share of the population that attains tertiary levels of education and with the importance of government expenditure in education relative to GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan C. Palomino & Gustavo A. Marrero & Juan G. Rodríguez, 2019. "Channels of Inequality of Opportunity: The Role of Education and Occupation in Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 143(3), pages 1045-1074, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:143:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-018-2008-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-018-2008-y
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    Cited by:

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    2. Jiantao Zhou & Eddie Chi-Man Hui & Huiwen Peng, 2022. "Chasing opportunity? Inequality of opportunity and educational self-selection of interprovincial migrants in China," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 69(2), pages 281-309, October.
    3. Paolo Brunori & Paul Hufe & Daniel Gerszon Mahler, 2017. "The Roots of Inequality: Estimating Inequality of Opportunity from Regression Trees," Working Papers - Economics wp2017_18.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    4. Juan C Palomino & Gustavo A Marrero & Brian Nolan & Juan G Rodríguez, 2022. "Wealth inequality, intergenerational transfers, and family background [Intergenerational wealth mobility and the role of inheritance: Evidence from multiple generations]," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 643-670.
    5. Inmaculada García-Mainar & Víctor M. Montuenga, 2020. "Occupational Prestige and Fathers’ Influence on Sons and Daughters," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 706-728, December.
    6. Grübl, Dominik & Lackner, Mario & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2020. "Intergenerational Transmission of Unemployment - Causal Evidence from Austria," IHS Working Paper Series 14, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    7. Yue Yu & Chengkui Liu, 2023. "Pre-market discrimination or post-market discrimination: research on inequality of opportunity for labor income in China," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 64(5), pages 2291-2313, May.
    8. Pérez-Mesa, David & Marrero, Gustavo A. & Darias-Curvo, Sara, 2021. "Child health inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 108801, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. 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.
    10. Pedro Salas-Rojo & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez, 2021. "The distribution of wealth in Spain and the USA: the role of socioeconomic factors," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 389-421, September.
    11. Pedro Salas-Rojo & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez, 2021. "The distribution of wealth in Spain and the USA: the role of socioeconomic factors," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 389-421, September.
    12. Juan Gabriel Rodríguez, 2022. "Making the most of world talent for science? The Nobel Prize and Fields Medal experience," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 127(2), pages 813-847, February.
    13. Brock, J. Michelle, 2020. "Unfair inequality, governance and individual beliefs," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 658-687.
    14. Brunori, Paolo & Hufe, Paul & Mahler, Daniel Gerszon, 2021. "The Roots of Inequality: Estimating Inequality of Opportunity from Regression Trees and Forests," IZA Discussion Papers 14689, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Seungwoo Han, 2022. "Identifying the roots of inequality of opportunity in South Korea by application of algorithmic approaches," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(1), pages 1-10, December.
    16. Pedro Salas-Rojo & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez, 2019. "The distribution of wealth in the U.S. and Spain: the role of socio-economic factors," Working Papers 506, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    17. Ana Su rez lvarez & Ana Jes s L pez Men ndez, 2018. "Inequality of Opportunity in Developing countries: Does the income aggregate matter?," LIS Working papers 739, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    18. Juan C. Palomino & Gustavo A. Marrero & Brian Nolan & Juan G. Rodriguez, 2020. "Wealth inequality, intergenerational transfers and socioeconomic background," Working Papers 537, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    19. Ana Suárez Álvarez & Ana Jesús López Menéndez, 2020. "Trends in Inequality of Opportunity for Developing Countries: Does the Economic Indicator Matter?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 149(2), pages 503-539, June.
    20. Marcenaro-Gutierrez, O.D. & Lopez-Agudo, L.A. & Henriques, C.O., 2021. "Are soft skills conditioned by conflicting factors? A multiobjective programming approach to explore the trade-offs," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 18-40.
    21. Brunori, Paolo & Hufe, Paul & Mahler, Daniel, 2023. "The roots of inequality: estimating inequality of opportunity from regression trees and forests," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 118220, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality of opportunity; Education; Occupation; Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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