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Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy


  • Checchi, Daniele

    () (University of Milan)

  • Peragine, Vito

    () (University of Bari)


In this paper we provide a new methodology to measure opportunity inequality and to decompose overall inequality in an "ethically offensive" and an "ethically acceptable" part. Moreover, we provide some empirical applications of these new evaluation tools: in the first exercise, we compare the income distributions of South and North of Italy on the basis of a measure of opportunity inequality. Then, we repeat the exercise using the cognitive abilities in a sample of 15-year old students. In both circumstances we find that the less developed regions in the South are characterized by greater incidence of inequality of opportunity.

Suggested Citation

  • Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1874

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brunello, Giorgio & Checchi, Daniele, 2005. "School quality and family background in Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 563-577, October.
    2. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
    3. Roemer, John E. & Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Fritzell, Johan & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Lefranc, Arnaud & Marx, Ive & Page, Marianne & Pommer, Evert & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2003. "To what extent do fiscal regimes equalize opportunities for income acquisition among citizens?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 539-565, March.
    4. Roemer, J.E., 1992. "A Pragmatic Theory of Responsibility for the Egalitarian Planner," Papers 391, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
    5. Marc Fleurbaey & François Maniquet, 2006. "Compensation and responsibility," Working Papers halshs-00121367, HAL.
    6. 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.
    7. Daniele Checchi & Valentino Dardanoni, 2002. "Mobility comparisons: does using different measures matter?," Departmental Working Papers 2002-15, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    8. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    9. Peragine, Vitorocco, 2002. "Opportunity egalitarianism and income inequality," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 45-64, September.
    10. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Measuring and implementing equality of opportunity for income," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 22(1), pages 187-210, February.
    11. Villar Antonio, 2005. "On the Welfare Evaluation of Income and Opportunity," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-21, June.
    12. Peragine, Vitorocco, 1999. " The Distribution and Redistribution of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 37-69, February.
    13. Julian R. Betts & John E. Roemer, "undated". "Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform," Department of Economics 99-8, California Davis - Department of Economics.
    14. Fleurbaey Marc, 1995. "Three Solutions for the Compensation Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 505-521, April.
    15. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
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    More about this item


    justice; education; equality of opportunity;

    JEL classification:

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

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