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Inequality of Opportunity in Income and Consumption: the Middle East and North Africa Region in Comparative Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Ragui Assaad

    () (University of Minnesota)

  • Caroline Krafft

    () (St. Catherine University)

  • John Roemer
  • Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

Abstract

Social justice has been a central theme in the political turmoil affecting the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Perplexingly, standard measures of inequality are not particularly high for MENA countries. One possible explanation for this apparent contradiction is that observed inequality may be masking a large share of inequality of opportunity, the unjustifiable type of inequality associated with social class or other circumstances over which an individual has no control. In this paper we extend the literature on inequality of opportunity in the MENA region by providing estimates of inequality of opportunity in incomes and consumption for Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia. Our results show low levels of inequality of opportunity, as well as inequality, in income measures in the countries examined.

Suggested Citation

  • Ragui Assaad & Caroline Krafft & John Roemer & Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, 2016. "Inequality of Opportunity in Income and Consumption: the Middle East and North Africa Region in Comparative Perspective," Working Papers 1003, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:1003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. repec:spr:sochwe:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1044-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ragui Assaad & Djavad Salehi-Isfahani & Rana Hendy, 2014. "Inequality of Opportunity in Educational Attainment in Middle East and North Africa: Evidence from Household Surveys," Working Papers 834, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2014.
    4. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Equality of Opportunity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1921, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Assaad, Ragui (ed.), 2014. "The Jordanian Labor Market in the New Millennium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198702054.
    6. Ragui Assaad & Caroline Krafft & Nadia Belhaj Hassine & Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, 2012. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Child Health In The Arab World And Turkey," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(02), pages 1-37.
    7. Ragui Assaad & Caroline Krafft, 2013. "The Egypt labor market panel survey: introducing the 2012 round," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-30, December.
    8. Filipe R. Campante & Davin Chor, 2012. "Why Was the Arab World Poised for Revolution? Schooling, Economic Opportunities, and the Arab Spring," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 167-188, Spring.
    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. Hassine, Nadia Belhaj, 2015. "Economic Inequality in the Arab Region," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 532-556.
    11. Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement of Inequality of Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and an Application to Latin America," Post-Print halshs-00754503, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ragui Assaad & Caroline Krafft & John Roemer & Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, 2016. "Inequality of Opportunity in Income and Consumption in Egypt," Working Papers 1002, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2016.

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