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Economic Development as Opportunity Equalization

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Abstract

The justification of using GNP per capita as a measure of economic development is utilitarian ethics plus an assumption that no needs are more urgent than others. Here, we advocate a measure of economic development based on the degree to which the society in question has equalized opportunities for the acquisition of income. In highly developed economies, inequality of opportunity accounts for less than 10% of total inequality, while in developing economies, it accounts for over 30%.

Suggested Citation

  • John E. Roemer, 2006. "Economic Development as Opportunity Equalization," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1583, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1583 Note: CFP 1397
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    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d15/d1583.pdf
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    1. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 2003. "Dynamic common agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 23-48, July.
    2. Xavier Freixas & Roger Guesnerie & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Planning under Incomplete Information and the Ratchet Effect," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 173-191.
    3. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 2000. "Efficient Auctions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 341-388.
    4. Susan Athey & Ilya Segal, 2013. "An Efficient Dynamic Mechanism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2463-2485, November.
    5. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-631, July.
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    1. GDP is not everything
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-04-24 07:08:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Vito Peragine, 2015. "Equality of opportunity: Theory and evidence," Working Papers 359, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Ashish Singh, 2011. "Inequality of Opportunity in Indian Children: The Case of Immunization and Nutrition," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 30(6), pages 861-883, December.
    3. Rougier, Eric, 2016. "“Fire in Cairo”: Authoritarian–Redistributive Social Contracts, Structural Change, and the Arab Spring," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 148-171.
    4. World Bank, 2012. "Well Begun, Not Yet Done : Vietnam's Remarkable Progress on Poverty Reduction and the Emerging Challenges," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12326, The World Bank.
    5. Martin Ravallion, 2016. "Are the world’s poorest being left behind?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 139-164, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Gordon Anderson & Jasmin Thomas, 2017. "More Unequal Yet More Alike: The Changing Anatomy of Constituent Canadian Income Distributions in the 21st Century," Working Papers tecipa-587, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:col:000174:015711 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:lde:journl:y:2017:i:87:p:165-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ashish Singh, 2010. "The Effect of Family Background on Individual Wages and an Examination of Inequality of Opportunity in India," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 230-246, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equality of opportunity; Economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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