IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_7219.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Beyond Equal Rights: Equality of Opportunity in Political Participation

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Hufe
  • Andreas Peichl

Abstract

While it is well documented that political participation is stratified by socio-economic characteristics, it is an open question how this finding bears on the evaluation of the democratic process with respect to its fairness. In this paper we draw on the analytical tools developed in the equality of opportunity literature to answer this question. We investigate to what extent differential political participation is determined by factors that lie beyond individual control (circumstances) rather than being the result of individual effort. Using rich panel data from the US, we indeed find a lack of political opportunity for the most disadvantaged circumstance types. Opportunity shortages tend to complement each other across different forms of participation and persist over time. Family characteristics and psychological conditions during childhood emanate as the strongest determinants of political opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Hufe & Andreas Peichl, 2018. "Beyond Equal Rights: Equality of Opportunity in Political Participation," CESifo Working Paper Series 7219, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7219
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp7219.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ravi Kanbur & Adam Wagstaff, 2016. "How Useful Is Inequality of Opportunity as a Policy Construct?," International Economic Association Series, in: Kaushik Basu & Joseph E. Stiglitz (ed.), Inequality and Growth: Patterns and Policy, chapter 4, pages 131-150, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Campante, Filipe R., 2011. "Redistribution in a model of voting and campaign contributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 646-656, August.
    3. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
    4. Saavedra-Chanduví, Jaime & Molinas, José R. & De Barros, Ricardo Paes & Ferreira, Francisco H. G., 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 361.
    5. Braun, Sebastian Till & Stuhler, Jan, 2018. "The Transmission of Inequality Across Multiple Generations: Testing Recent Theories with Evidence from Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 128(609), pages 576-611.
    6. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "Representative Trust And Reciprocity: Prevalence And Determinants," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(1), pages 84-90, January.
    7. Mueller, Dennis C. & Stratmann, Thomas, 2003. "The economic effects of democratic participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2129-2155, September.
    8. Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse & Pia Pinger & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch & Thomas Deckers, 2021. "Socioeconomic Status and Inequalities in Children’s IQ and Economic Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(9), pages 2504-2545.
    9. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1552 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Aaberge, Rolf & Mogstad, Magne & Peragine, Vito, 2011. "Measuring long-term inequality of opportunity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 193-204.
    11. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2016. "When Do Covariates Matter? And Which Ones, and How Much?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 509-543.
    12. Florence Jusot & Sandy Tubeuf & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Circumstances And Efforts: How Important Is Their Correlation For The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity In Health?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(12), pages 1470-1495, December.
    13. Hoffman, Mitchell & León, Gianmarco & Lombardi, María, 2017. "Compulsory voting, turnout, and government spending: Evidence from Austria," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 103-115.
    14. Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2014. "Upper bounds of inequality of opportunity: theory and evidence for Germany and the US," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(1), pages 73-99, June.
    15. Alan Gerber & Mitchell Hoffman & John Morgan & Collin Raymond, 2020. "One in a Million: Field Experiments on Perceived Closeness of the Election and Voter Turnout," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 287-325, July.
    16. Fowler, James H. & Baker, Laura A. & Dawes, Christopher T., 2008. "Genetic Variation in Political Participation," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 233-248, May.
    17. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Patrick Kline & Emmanuel Saez & Nicholas Turner, 2014. "Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 141-147, May.
    18. Xavier Ramos & Dirk gaer, 2016. "Approaches To Inequality Of Opportunity: Principles, Measures And Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5), pages 855-883, December.
    19. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.
    20. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Vito Peragine, 2015. "Equality of opportunity: Theory and evidence," Working Papers 359, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    21. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2014. "The Measurement of Educational Inequality: Achievement and Opportunity," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 28(2), pages 210-246.
    22. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Jose R. Molinas Vega & Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2580, September.
    23. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Rukmini Banerji & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Stuti Khemani, 2010. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-30, February.
    24. Alberto Alesina & Stefanie Stantcheva & Edoardo Teso, 2018. "Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 521-554, February.
    25. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
    26. Fleurbaey, Marc & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "Unfair inequalities in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 73-90, January.
    27. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    28. Brady, Henry E. & Mcnulty, John E., 2011. "Turning Out to Vote: The Costs of Finding and Getting to the Polling Place," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 115-134, February.
    29. Fleurbaey,Marc & Maniquet,François, 2011. "A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521887427.
    30. Esteve-Volart, Berta & Bagues, Manuel, 2012. "Are women pawns in the political game? Evidence from elections to the Spanish Senate," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 387-399.
    31. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & John Roemer, 2012. "Equality of opportunity and the distribution of long-run income in Sweden," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(2), pages 675-696, July.
    32. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-2265, July.
    33. Barnett,William A. & Moulin,Hervé & Salles,Maurice & Schofield,Norman J. (ed.), 1995. "Social Choice, Welfare, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521443401.
    34. Miguel Foguel & Fernando Veloso, 2014. "Inequality of opportunity in daycare and preschool services in Brazil," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(2), pages 191-220, June.
    35. Brunori, Paolo & Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2012. "Fairness in education: The Italian university before and after the reform," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 764-777.
    36. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
    37. Paul Hufe & Andreas Peichl & John Roemer & Martin Ungerer, 2017. "Inequality of income acquisition: the role of childhood circumstances," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(3), pages 499-544, December.
    38. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555.
    39. Paolo Brunori & Vito Peragine & Laura Serlenga, 2019. "Upward and downward bias when measuring inequality of opportunity," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 52(4), pages 635-661, April.
    40. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    41. Alain Trannoy, 2016. "Equality of Opportunity: A progress report," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 126(5), pages 621-651.
    42. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5065 is not listed on IDEAS
    43. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    44. Leonardo Bursztyn & Davide Cantoni & Patricia Funk & Noam Yuchtman, 2017. "Polls, the Press, and Political Participation: The Effects of Anticipated Election Closeness on Voter Turnout," Working Papers 2017-052, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    45. Sebastian Till Braun & Jan Stuhler, 2018. "The Transmission of Inequality Across Multiple Generations: Testing Recent Theories with Evidence from Germany," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(609), pages 576-611, March.
    46. Christopher Ojeda, 2015. "Depression and Political Participation," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1226-1243, November.
    47. Campante, Filipe Robin, 2011. "Redistribution in a model of voting and campaign contributions," Scholarly Articles 34310047, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    48. Amiel,Yoram & Cowell,Frank, 1999. "Thinking about Inequality," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521466967.
    49. Grant Miller, 2008. "Women's Suffrage, Political Responsiveness, and Child Survival in American History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 123(3), pages 1287-1327.
    50. Ansolabehere, Stephen & Hersh, Eitan, 2012. "Validation: What Big Data Reveal About Survey Misreporting and the Real Electorate," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 437-459.
    51. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
    52. Verba, Sidney & Schlozman, Kay Lehman & Brady, Henry & Nie, Norman H., 1993. "Race, Ethnicity and Political Resources: Participation in the United States," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 453-497, October.
    53. Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "One Dollar, One Vote," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 621-651, June.
    54. Frank Dudbridge, 2013. "Power and Predictive Accuracy of Polygenic Risk Scores," PLOS Genetics, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(3), pages 1-17, March.
    55. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    56. Pedro Rosa Dias, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in health: evidence from a UK cohort study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(9), pages 1057-1074, September.
    57. van der Loos, Matthijs J. H. M. & Benjamin, Daniel J. & Cesarini, David & Dawes, Christopher T. & Koellinger, Philipp D. & Magnusson, Patrik K. E. & Chabris, Christopher F. & Conley, Dalton & Laibson,, 2012. "The Genetic Architecture of Economic and Political Preferences," Scholarly Articles 10121961, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    58. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(2), pages 135-135.
    59. repec:idb:brikps:60098 is not listed on IDEAS
    60. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
    61. Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement of Inequality of Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and an Application to Latin America," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-00754503, HAL.
    62. Patricia Funk, 2010. "Social Incentives and Voter Turnout: Evidence from the Swiss Mail Ballot System," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1077-1103, September.
    63. Nicolas Pistolesi, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in the land of opportunities, 1968–2001," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(4), pages 411-433, December.
    64. Holbein, John B., 2017. "Childhood Skill Development and Adult Political Participation," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 572-583, August.
    65. Kaushik Basu & Joseph E. Stiglitz (ed.), 2016. "Inequality and Growth: Patterns and Policy," International Economic Association Series, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-1-137-55459-8, December.
    66. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 855-902, April.
    67. Florian Wendelspiess Chavez Juarez & Isidro Soloaga, 2014. "iop: Estimating ex-ante inequality of opportunity," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 14(4), pages 830-846, December.
    68. Thomas Fujiwara, 2015. "Voting Technology, Political Responsiveness, and Infant Health: Evidence From Brazil," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 423-464, March.
    69. Thomas Fujiwara & Kyle Meng & Tom Vogl, 2016. "Habit Formation in Voting: Evidence from Rainy Elections," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 160-188, October.
    70. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:379-433 is not listed on IDEAS
    71. Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor, 2012. "Schooling, Political Participation, and the Economy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 841-859, November.
    72. Plutzer, Eric, 2002. "Becoming a Habitual Voter: Inertia, Resources, and Growth in Young Adulthood," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 96(1), pages 41-56, March.
    73. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Selection, Investment, and Women's Relative Wages Over Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 123(3), pages 1061-1110.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hufe, Paul & Peichl, Andreas & Stöckli, Marc, 2018. "Ökonomische Ungleichheit in Deutschland – ein Überblick," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 19(3), pages 185-199.
    2. Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse & Pia Pinger & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch & Thomas Deckers, 2021. "Socioeconomic Status and Inequalities in Children’s IQ and Economic Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(9), pages 2504-2545.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2016. "Equality of Opportunity: Theory and Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1288-1332, December.
    2. Dirk Van de gaer & Xavier Ramos, 2020. "Measurement of inequality of opportunity based on counterfactuals," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 55(3), pages 595-627, October.
    3. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Peragine, Vito, 2015. "Equality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8994, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Paolo Brunori & Vito Peragine & Laura Serlenga, 2019. "Upward and downward bias when measuring inequality of opportunity," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 52(4), pages 635-661, April.
    5. Paul Hufe & Andreas Peichl & Daniel Weishaar, 2022. "Lower and upper bound estimates of inequality of opportunity for emerging economies," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 58(3), pages 395-427, April.
    6. Vincenzo Carrieri & Apostolos Davillas & Andrew M. Jones, 2023. "Equality of opportunity and the expansion of higher education in the UK," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 69(4), pages 861-885, December.
    7. Yan, Binjian & Chen, Xi & Gill, Thomas M., 2020. "Health inequality among Chinese older adults: The role of childhood circumstances," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 17(C).
    8. Lanlin Ding & Andrew M. Jones & Peng Nie, 2022. "Ex ante Inequality of Opportunity in Health among the Elderly in China: A Distributional Decomposition Analysis of Biomarkers," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(4), pages 922-950, December.
    9. Paul Hufe & Andreas Peichl & John Roemer & Martin Ungerer, 2017. "Inequality of income acquisition: the role of childhood circumstances," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(3), pages 499-544, December.
    10. Xi Chen & Binjian Yan & Thomas M. Gill, 2022. "Childhood Circumstances and Health Inequality in Old Age: Comparative Evidence from China and the USA," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 160(2), pages 689-716, April.
    11. Patrizia Luongo, 2015. "Inequality of Opportunity in Educational Achievements: Cross-country and Intertemporal Comparisons," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2015-043, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. 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.
    13. 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).
    14. Ana Suárez Álvarez & Ana Jesús López Menéndez, 2018. "Assessing Changes Over Time in Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Spain," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 989-1014, October.
    15. Marc Fleurbaey & Vito Peragine, 2013. "Ex Ante Versus Ex Post Equality of Opportunity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(317), pages 118-130, January.
    16. Rafael Carranza, 2023. "Upper and Lower Bound Estimates of Inequality of Opportunity: A Cross‐National Comparison for Europe," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 69(4), pages 838-860, December.
    17. Daniel Gerszon Mahler & Xavier Ramos, 2019. "Equality of Opportunity in Four Measures of Well‐Being," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(S1), pages 228-255, November.
    18. Davillas, Apostolos & Jones, Andrew M, 2020. "Ex ante inequality of opportunity in health, decomposition and distributional analysis of biomarkers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    19. Nie, Peng & Ding, Lanlin & Jones, Andrew M., 2020. "Inequality of Opportunity in Bodyweight among Middle-Aged and Older Chinese: A Distributional Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 13421, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Xavier Ramos & Dirk Van de gaer, 2021. "Is Inequality of Opportunity Robust to the Measurement Approach?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 67(1), pages 18-36, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    equality of opportunity; political participation;

    JEL classification:

    • D39 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Other
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7219. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.