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Unfair inequalities in France: A regional comparison

  • CARPANTIER, Jean-François


    (Université catholique de Louvain, IRES, Belgium; CREA, University of Luxembourg)

  • SAPATA, Christelle


    (FUSL, Belgium; Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain)

This paper proposes a regional comparison of ex-post inequality of opportunity in France by measuring, within each region, the inequality between individuals exerting the same effort. According to the concept of equality of opportunity, inequalities due to factors for which the individual is not responsible are unfair and should be removed but inequalities due to factors for which the individual can be held responsible (effort) are fair and should be preserved. Therefore, our analysis defends a responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism whose aim is to show whether (1) regions reward equally effort, (2) inequality of opportunity is equally distributed among regions and (3) it is correlated with income inequality. In this paper, we use a direct measure of effort to measure ex-post inequality of opportunity across regions in France. To this end, we define a fair income that fulfills ex-post equality of opportunity requirements. Unfairness is measured by an unfair Gini based on the distance between the actual income and the fair income. Our findings reveal that regions display differences in the magnitude of ex- post inequality of opportunity and this is due to differences in reward schemes and differences in the impact of the non responsibility factors of income. As a consequence, this papers motivates decentralized policies to solve the problem of unequal opportunities in France. Finally, the positive correlation between income inequality and inequality of opportunity confirms previous results given in the literature.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2012038.

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Date of creation: 11 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2012038
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  1. Nicolas Pistolesi, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in the land of opportunities, 1968–2001," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-433, December.
  2. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2008. "Inequality Of Opportunities Vs. Inequality Of Outcomes: Are Western Societies All Alike?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 513-546, December.
  3. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine & Laura Serlenga, 2010. "Fair and unfair income inequalities in Europe," CHILD Working Papers wp06_10, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  4. Denis Cogneau & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2008. "Inequality of Opportunity for Income in Five Countries of Africa," Working Papers DT/2008/04, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  5. John E. Roemer, . "To What Extent Do Fiscal Regimes Equalize Opportunities For Income Acquisition Among Citizens," Department of Economics 00-03, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  6. Michel Forsé & Maxime Parodi, 2011. "La perception des inégalités en France depuis dix ans," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 5-32.
  7. Florence Jusot & Sandy Tubeuf & Alain Trannoy, 2010. "Effort or Circumstances: Does the Correlation Matter for Inequality of Opportunity in Health?," Working Papers DT33, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Jul 2010.
  8. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade & Jacques-François Thisse & Jean-Claude Toutain, 2008. "The rise and fall of spatial inequalities in France: A long-run perspective," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586214, HAL.
  9. Fran?s Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menendez, 2003. "Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3174, The World Bank.
  10. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Measuring and implementing equality of opportunity for income," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 187-210, 02.
  11. André Decoster & Peter Haan, 2010. "Empirical Welfare Analysis in Random Utility Models of Labour Supply," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 340, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  12. Trannoy, A & Tubeuf, S & Jusot, F & Devaux, M, 2008. "Inequality in Opportunities in Health in France: A first pass," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/24, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  13. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & John Roemer, 2012. "Equality of opportunity and the distribution of long-run income in Sweden," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 675-696, July.
  14. Bourguignon, François & Ferreira, Francisco & Menéndez, Marta, 2007. "Inequality of Opportunity in Brazil," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1552, Paris Dauphine University.
  15. Arnaud Lefranc & Alain Trannoy, 2004. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in France : Is France more mobile than the US ?," IDEP Working Papers 0401, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Feb 2004.
  16. Ferreira , Francisco H. G. & Gignoux, Jeremie, 2008. "The measurement of inequality of opportunity : theory and an application to Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4659, The World Bank.
  17. Olivier Godechot, 2011. "Finance and the rise in inequalities in France," Working Papers halshs-00584881, HAL.
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