IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Measurement of Inequality of Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and an Application to Latin America


  • Francisco H.G. Ferreira

    (Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA)

  • Jérémie Gignoux

    () (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)


Building on the existing literature, this paper constructs a simple scalar measure of inequality of opportunity and applies it to six Latin American countries. The measure--which captures between-group inequality when groups are defined exclusively on the basis of predetermined circumstances--is shown to yield a lower-bound estimate of true inequality of opportunity. Absolute and relative versions of the index are defined, and alternative parametric and non-parametric methods are employed to generate robust estimates. In the application to Latin America, we find inequality of opportunity shares ranging from one quarter to one half of total consumption inequality. An opportunity-deprivation profile that identifies the worst-off types in each society is also formally defined, and described for the same six countries. In three of them, 100 percent of the opportunity-deprived were found to be indigenous or Afro-descendants.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-00754503
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4991.2011.00467.x
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    Inequality of opportunity; Latin America;


    Access and download statistics


    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:hal:pseptp:halshs-00754503. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Caroline Bauer). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.