IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp7155.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Inequality of Opportunity, Income Inequality and Economic Mobility: Some International Comparisons

Author

Listed:
  • Brunori, Paolo

    (London School of Economics)

  • Ferreira, Francisco H. G.

    (London School of Economics)

  • Peragine, Vito

    (University of Bari)

Abstract

Despite a recent surge in the number of studies attempting to measure inequality of opportunity in various countries, methodological differences have so far prevented meaningful international comparisons. This paper presents a comparison of ex-ante measures of inequality of economic opportunity (IEO) across 41 countries, and of the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) for 39 countries. It also examines international correlations between these indices and output per capita, income inequality, and intergenerational mobility. The analysis finds evidence of a "Kuznets curve" for inequality of opportunity, and finds that the IEO index is positively correlated with overall income inequality, and negatively with measures of intergenerational mobility, both in incomes and in years of schooling. The HOI is highly correlated with the Human Development Index, and its internal measure of inequality of opportunity yields very different country rankings from the IEO measure.

Suggested Citation

  • Brunori, Paolo & Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Peragine, Vito, 2013. "Inequality of Opportunity, Income Inequality and Economic Mobility: Some International Comparisons," IZA Discussion Papers 7155, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7155
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp7155.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. Viviane M. R. Azevedo & Cesar P. Bouillon, 2010. "Intergenerational Social Mobility in Latin America: A review of existing evidence," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Business, vol. 25(2), pages 7-42, Diciembre.
    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. Ramos, Xavier & Van de gaer, Dirk, 2012. "Empirical Approaches to Inequality of Opportunity: Principles, Measures, and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 6672, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Aaberge, Rolf & Mogstad, Magne & Peragine, Vito, 2011. "Measuring long-term inequality of opportunity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 193-204.
    9. Piraino Patrizio, 2007. "Comparable Estimates of Intergenerational Income Mobility in Italy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-27, October.
    10. Viviane Azevedo & Cesar Bouillon, 2009. "Social Mobility in Latin America: A Review of Existing Evidence," Research Department Publications 4634, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    11. Ashish Singh, 2012. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Earnings And Consumption Expenditure: The Case Of Indian Men," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(1), pages 79-106, March.
    12. Francisco H.G. Ferreira, 2001. "Education for the masses? The interaction between wealth, educational and political inequalities," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 9(2), pages 533-552, July.
    13. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    14. Nadia Belhaj Hassine, 2012. "Inequality of Opportunity in Egypt," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 265-295.
    15. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591, November.
    16. 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.
    17. Zhang, Yingqiang & Eriksson, Tor, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity and income inequality in nine Chinese provinces, 1989-2006," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 607-616, December.
    18. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
    19. 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.
    20. Javier Núñez E. & Leslie Miranda, 2007. "Recent Findings on Intergenerational Income and Educational Mobility in Chile," Working Papers wp244, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    21. 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.
    22. María Cervini Plá, 2009. "Measuring intergenerational earnings mobility in Spain: A selection-bias-free," Working Papers wpdea0904, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    23. 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.
    24. Marrero, Gustavo A. & Rodríguez, Juan G., 2013. "Inequality of opportunity and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 107-122.
    25. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2010. "Fair and Unfair Income Inequalities in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 5025, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    26. Corak,Miles (ed.), 2004. "Generational Income Mobility in North America and Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521827607, December.
    27. 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.
    28. 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.
    29. María Cervini-Plá, 2015. "Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility in Spain," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(4), pages 812-828, December.
    30. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2003. "The nature of human altruism," Nature, Nature, vol. 425(6960), pages 785-791, October.
    31. Corak, Miles, 2006. "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 1993, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    32. Giuseppe Pignataro, 2012. "Equality Of Opportunity: Policy And Measurement Paradigms," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 800-834, December.
    33. World Bank, 2012. "South Africa Economic Update, July 2012," World Bank Publications - Reports 26076, The World Bank Group.
    34. 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)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Peragine, Vito, 2015. "Equality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8994, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Equality of Opportunity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1921, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Zbigniew Mogila & Patricia C. Melo & José M. Gaspar, 2020. "Measuring inequality of opportunity across EU-SILC countries: national and urban-rural perspectives," Working Papers REM 2020/0135, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    6. Vito Peragine & Federico Biagi, 2019. "Equality of opportunity: theory, measurement and policy implications," JRC Research Reports JRC118542, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    7. Kristof Bosmans & Z. Emel Öztürk, 2021. "Measurement of inequality of opportunity: A normative approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 19(2), pages 213-237, June.
    8. Aitor Calo-Blanco & J. García-Pérez, 2014. "On the welfare loss caused by inequality of opportunity," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(2), pages 221-237, June.
    9. Ana Suárez Álvarez & Ana Jesús López Menéndez, 2016. "Inequality of opportunity and income inequality in Spain: An analysis over time," Working Papers 423, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    10. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2016. "Equality of Opportunity: Theory and Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1288-1332, December.
    11. Paolo Brunori & Flaviana Palmisano & Vitorocco Peragine, 2019. "Inequality of opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(60), pages 6428-6458, December.
    12. Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "Bounds of Unfair Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," CESifo Working Paper Series 3815, CESifo.
    13. Niehues, J. (Judith) & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "GINI DP 34: Bounds of Unfair Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," GINI Discussion Papers 34, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    14. Ana Suárez Álvarez & Ana Jesús López Menéndez, 2018. "Assessing Changes Over Time in Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Spain," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 989-1014, October.
    15. Niehues, Judith & Peichl, Andreas, 2011. "Lower and Upper Bounds of Unfair Inequality: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5834, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Dirk Van de gaer & Xavier Ramos, 2020. "Measurement of inequality of opportunity based on counterfactuals," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 55(3), pages 595-627, October.
    17. Paolo Brunori & Flaviana Palmisano & Vito Peragine, 2015. "Inequality of opportunity during the great recession in Uganda," WIDER Working Paper Series 039, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. ANDREOLI Francesco & HAVNES Tarjei & LEFRANC Arnaud, 2014. "Equalization of opportunity: Definitions, implementable conditions and application to early-childhood policy evaluation," LISER Working Paper Series 2014-12, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    19. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lakner, Christoph & Lugo, Maria Ana & Ozler, Berk, 2014. "Inequality of opportunity and economic growth : a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6915, The World Bank.
    20. Juan C. Palomino & Gustavo A. Marrero & Juan G. Rodríguez, 2019. "Channels of Inequality of Opportunity: The Role of Education and Occupation in Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 143(3), pages 1045-1074, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social mobility; income inequality; equality of opportunity; mobility;
    All these keywords.

    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

    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:iza:izadps:dp7155. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    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.