IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/inq/inqwps/ecineq2012-259.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Empirical approaches to inequality of opportunity: Principles, measures, and evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Xavier Ramos

    () (Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona, IZA and EQUALITAS)

  • Dirk Van de gaer

    (Sherppa, IAE and CORE)

Abstract

We put together the different conceptual issues involved in measuring inequality of opportunity, discuss how these concepts have been translated into computable measures, and point out the problems and choices researchers face when implementing these measures. Our analysis identities and suggests several new possibilities to measure inequality of opportunity. The approaches are illustrated with a selective survey of the empirical literature on income inequality of opportunity.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Ramos & Dirk Van de gaer, 2012. "Empirical approaches to inequality of opportunity: Principles, measures, and evidence," Working Papers 259, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2012-259
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2012-259.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fleurbaey,Marc & Maniquet,François, 2011. "A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521715348, October.
    2. X. Ramos & D. Van De Gaer, 2012. "Empirical Approaches to Inequality of Opportunity: Principles, Measures, and Evidence," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/792, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
    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. Roland Iwan Luttens & Erwin Ooghe, 2007. "Is it Fair to 'Make Work Pay'?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 599-626, November.
    6. Magdalou, Brice & Nock, Richard, 2011. "Income distributions and decomposable divergence measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2440-2454.
    7. Jacquet, Laurence & Van de Gaer, Dirk, 2011. "A comparison of optimal tax policies when compensation or responsibility matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1248-1262.
    8. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Italy," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(4), pages 429-450, December.
    9. Marc Fleurbaey & Vito Peragine, 2013. "Ex Ante Versus Ex Post Equality of Opportunity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(317), pages 118-130, January.
    10. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
    11. Aaberge, Rolf & Mogstad, Magne & Peragine, Vito, 2011. "Measuring long-term inequality of opportunity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 193-204.
    12. Frank A. Cowell, 1985. "Measures of Distributional Change: An Axiomatic Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 135-151.
    13. Markus M. Mobius & Tanya S. Rosenblat, 2006. "Why Beauty Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 222-235, March.
    14. Dirk Van de gaer & Joost Vandenbossche & José Luis Figueroa, 2014. "Children's Health Opportunities and Project Evaluation: Mexico's Oportunidades Program," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(2), pages 282-310.
    15. Pedro Rosa Dias, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in health: evidence from a UK cohort study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(9), pages 1057-1074.
    16. Roland Luttens & Dirk gaer, 2007. "Lorenz Dominance and Non-welfaristic Redistribution," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(2), pages 281-302, February.
    17. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
    18. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & John Roemer, 2012. "Equality of opportunity and the distribution of long-run income in Sweden," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(2), pages 675-696, July.
    19. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.
    20. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2005. "Fair social orderings when agents have unequal production skills," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(1), pages 93-127, September.
    21. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591.
    22. Alain Trannoy & Sandy Tubeuf & Florence Jusot & Marion Devaux, 2010. "Inequality of opportunities in health in France: a first pass," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 921-938, August.
    23. Francisco Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux & Meltem Aran, 2011. "Measuring inequality of opportunity with imperfect data: the case of Turkey," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(4), pages 651-680, December.
    24. Nilsson, William, 2005. "Opportunities, Preferences and Incomes," Umeå Economic Studies 649, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    25. 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.
    26. Dirk Van de gaer & Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1999. "Responsibility, talent, and compensation: A second-best analysis," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 4(1), pages 35-55.
    27. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2007. "Help the Low Skilled or Let the Hardworking Thrive? A Study of Fairness in Optimal Income Taxation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(3), pages 467-500, June.
    28. Lefranc, Arnaud & Pistolesi, Nicolas & Trannoy, Alain, 2009. "Equality of opportunity and luck: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1189-1207, December.
    29. Duranton, Gilles & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian, 2010. "The Economics of Clusters: Lessons from the French Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199592203.
    30. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Biddle, Jeff E, 1994. "Beauty and the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1174-1194, December.
    31. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Lind, Jo Thori & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2011. "Measuring unfair (in)equality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 488-499.
    32. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1435-1464, November.
    33. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
    34. Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1996. "Redistribution and compensation (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(3), pages 343-355.
    35. Erik Schokkaert & Geert Dhaene & Carine Van De Voorde, 1998. "Risk adjustment and the trade-off between efficiency and risk selection: an application of the theory of fair compensation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 465-480.
    36. 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.
    37. Wulf Gaertner & Lars Schwettmann, 2007. "Equity, Responsibility and the Cultural Dimension," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 627-649, November.
    38. Erwin Ooghe & Erik Schokkaert & Dirk gaer, 2007. "Equality of Opportunity versus Equality of Opportunity Sets," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(2), pages 209-230, February.
    39. Schokkaert, Erik & Van de gaer, Dirk & Vandenbroucke, Frank & Luttens, Roland Iwan, 2004. "Responsibility sensitive egalitarianism and optimal linear income taxation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 151-182, September.
    40. Marrero, Gustavo A. & Rodríguez, Juan G., 2013. "Inequality of opportunity and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 107-122.
    41. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2006. "Fair Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 55-83.
    42. Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2007. "Higher Education and Equality of Opportunity in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 3163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    43. Nicolas Pistolesi, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in the land of opportunities, 1968–2001," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 7(4), pages 411-433, December.
    44. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2010. "Responsibility for what? Fairness and individual responsibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 429-441, April.
    45. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 2008. "Fair social orderings," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(1), pages 25-45, January.
    46. Giuseppe Pignataro, 2012. "Equality Of Opportunity: Policy And Measurement Paradigms," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 800-834, December.
    47. Kurt Devooght, 2008. "To Each the Same and to Each his Own: A Proposal to Measure Responsibility-Sensitive Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 280-295, May.
    48. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    equality of opportunity; measurement; compensation; responsibility; effort; circumstances.;

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:inq:inqwps:ecineq2012-259. 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: (Maria Ana Lugo). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ecineea.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.