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Measuring long-term inequality of opportunity

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  • Rolf Aaberge

    () (Research Department, Statistics Norway)

  • Magne Mogstad

    (Research Department, Statistics Norway)

  • Vito Peragine

    (University of Bari)

Abstract

In this paper, we introduce and apply a general framework for evaluating long-term income distributions according to the Equality of Opportunity principle. Our framework allows for both an exante and an ex-post approach to EOp. Our ex-post approach relies on a permanent income measure defined as the minimum annual expenditure an individual would need in order to be as well off as he could be by undertaking inter-period income transfers. There is long-term ex-post inequality of opportunity if individuals who exert the same effort have different permanent incomes. In comparison, the ex-ante approach focuses on the expected permanent income for individuals with identical circumstances. Hence, the ex-ante approach pays attention to inequalities in expected permanent income between different types of individuals. To demonstrate the empirical relevance of a long-run perspective on EOp, we exploit a unique panel data from Norway on individuals’ incomes over their working lifespan.

Suggested Citation

  • Rolf Aaberge & Magne Mogstad & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Measuring long-term inequality of opportunity," Working Papers 158, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2010-158
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    equality of opportunity; social welfare; inequality; permanent income; intertemporal choice; ex-ante; ex-post.;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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