IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8503.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Equalization of Opportunity: Definitions, Implementable Conditions and Application to Early-Childhood Policy Evaluation

Author

Listed:
  • Andreoli, Francesco

    (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))

  • Havnes, Tarjei

    (Norwegian Ministry of Finance)

  • Lefranc, Arnaud

    (University of Cergy-Pontoise)

Abstract

This paper develops a criterion to assess equalization of opportunity that is consistent with theoretical views of equality of opportunity. We characterize inequality of opportunity as a situation where some groups in society enjoy an illegitimate advantage. In this context, equalization of opportunity requires that the extent of the illegitimate advantage enjoyed by the privileged groups falls. Robustness requires that this judgement be supported by the broadest class of individual preferences. We formalize this criterion in a decision theoretic framework, and derive an empirical condition for equalization of opportunity based on observed opportunity distributions. The criterion is used to assess the effectiveness of child care at equalizing opportunity among children, using quantile treatment effects estimates of a major child care reform in Norway.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreoli, Francesco & Havnes, Tarjei & Lefranc, Arnaud, 2014. "Equalization of Opportunity: Definitions, Implementable Conditions and Application to Early-Childhood Policy Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 8503, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8503
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp8503.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sergio Firpo, 2007. "Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 259-276, January.
    2. 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).
    3. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    4. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
    5. Alberto Abadie & Joshua Angrist & Guido Imbens, 2002. "Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Effect of Subsidized Training on the Quantiles of Trainee Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 91-117, January.
    6. 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.
    7. Rolf Aaberge & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "Robust inequality comparisons," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(3), pages 353-371, September.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1552 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Aaberge, Rolf & Mogstad, Magne & Peragine, Vito, 2011. "Measuring long-term inequality of opportunity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 193-204.
    10. Valentino Dardanoni & Antonio Forcina, 1999. "Inference for Lorenz curve orderings," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(1), pages 49-75.
    11. Rolf Aaberge, 2009. "Ranking intersecting Lorenz curves," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 33(2), pages 235-259, August.
    12. Felfe, Christina & Lalive, Rafael, 2012. "Early Child Care and Child Development: For Whom it Works and Why," IZA Discussion Papers 7100, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Francesco Andreoli, 2013. "Inference for Inverse Stochastic Dominance," Working Papers 295, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591.
    17. DeCicca, Philip & Smith, Justin, 2013. "The long-run impacts of early childhood education: Evidence from a failed policy experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 41-59.
    18. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Do Investments in Universal Early Education Pay Off? Long-term Effects of Introducing Kindergartens into Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 14951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Buhong Zheng, 2002. "Testing Lorenz Curves with Non-Simple Random Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1235-1243, May.
    20. 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.
    21. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
    22. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 446-493.
    23. 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.
    24. Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman & Dirk van de gaer, 1999. "Equality of Opportunity and Kernel Density Estimation: An Application to Intergenerational Mobility," Economics Department Working Paper Series n950999, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    25. Christina Felfe & Natalia Nollenberger & Núria Rodríguez-Planas, 2015. "Can’t buy mommy’s love? Universal childcare and children’s long-term cognitive development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 393-422, April.
    26. 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.
    27. Roemer, John E., 2012. "On Several Approaches To Equality Of Opportunity," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 165-200, July.
    28. Chakravarty, Satya Ranjan & Dutta, Bhaskar, 1987. "A note on measures of distance between imcome distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 185-188, February.
    29. Gastwirth, Joseph L, 1971. "A General Definition of the Lorenz Curve," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(6), pages 1037-1039, November.
    30. Aaberge, Rolf & Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2013. "A Theory for Ranking Distribution Functions," IZA Discussion Papers 7738, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    31. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 16, pages 1487-1541, Elsevier.
    32. 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.
    33. Anthony B Atkinson & François Bourguignon, 2014. "Handbook of Income Distribution," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-02923231, HAL.
    34. Susan Athey & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Identification and Inference in Nonlinear Difference-in-Differences Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 431-497, March.
    35. Fabio Maccheroni & Pietro Muliere & Claudio Zoli, 2005. "Inverse stochastic orders and generalized Gini functionals," Metron - International Journal of Statistics, Dipartimento di Statistica, Probabilità e Statistiche Applicate - University of Rome, vol. 0(3), pages 529-559.
    36. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
    37. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 201-247, Elsevier.
    38. Kodde, David A & Palm, Franz C, 1986. "Wald Criteria for Jointly Testing Equality and Inequality Restriction s," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1243-1248, September.
    39. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2008. "Inequality Of Opportunities Vs. Inequality Of Outcomes: Are Western Societies All Alike?," Post-Print hal-01650720, HAL.
    40. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2015. "Is universal child care leveling the playing field?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 100-114.
    41. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, May.
    42. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    43. Michael Baker, 2011. "Innis Lecture: Universal early childhood interventions: what is the evidence base?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1069-1105, November.
    44. Ebert, Udo, 1984. "Measures of distance between income distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 266-274, April.
    45. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Equality of Opportunity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1921, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    46. Charles M. Beach & Russell Davidson, 1983. "Distribution-Free Statistical Inference with Lorenz Curves and Income Shares," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 723-735.
    47. 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.
    48. John Weymark, 2003. "Generalized Gini Indices of Equality of Opportunity," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 1(1), pages 5-24, April.
    49. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 15, pages 1315-1486, Elsevier.
    50. 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.
    51. 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.
    52. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Matthieu Verstraete, 2008. "Childcare Policy and Cognitive Outcomes of Children: Results from a Large Scale Quasi-Experiment on Universal Childcare in Canada," Cahiers de recherche 0823, CIRPEE.
    53. Baker, Michael, 2011. "Universal Early Childhood Interventions: What is the Evidence Base?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-29, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2011.
    54. Claudio Zoli, 2002. "Inverse stochastic dominance, inequality measurement and Gini indices," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 77(1), pages 119-161, December.
    55. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Simonsen, Marianne, 2010. "Non-cognitive child outcomes and universal high quality child care," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 30-43, February.
    56. 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.
    57. 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.
    58. 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.
    59. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
    60. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
    61. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
    62. Peragine, Vitorocco, 2002. "Opportunity egalitarianism and income inequality," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 45-64, September.
    63. Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "No Child Left Behind: Subsidized Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 97-129, May.
    64. Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2005. "An IV Model of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 245-261, January.
    65. 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.
    66. Muliere, Pietro & Scarsini, Marco, 1989. "A note on stochastic dominance and inequality measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 314-323, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rajius Idzalika & Maria C. Lo Bue, 2016. "Opportunities in education: are factors outside individual responsibility really persistent? Evidence from Indonesia, 1997-2007," Working Papers 397, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Peragine, Vito & Brunori, Paolo & Palmisano, Flaviana, 2014. "Income taxation and equity: new dominance criteria and an application to Romania," EUROMOD Working Papers EM19/14, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. 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.

    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. Francesco Andreoli & Arnaud Lefranc, 2013. "Equalization of opportunity: Definitions and implementable conditions," Working Papers 310, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Francesco Andreoli & Tarjei Havnes & Arnaud Lefranc, 2019. "Robust Inequality of Opportunity Comparisons: Theory and Application to Early Childhood Policy Evaluation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 355-369, May.
    3. Paolo Li Donni & Juan Rodríguez & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2015. "Empirical definition of social types in the analysis of inequality of opportunity: a latent classes approach," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(3), pages 673-701, March.
    4. Ferreira,Francisco H. G. & Peragine,Vito, 2015. "Equality of opportunity : theory and evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7217, The World Bank.
    5. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Peragine, Vito, 2015. "Equality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8994, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Drange, Nina & Havnes, Tarjei & Sandsør, Astrid M.J., 2016. "Kindergarten for all: Long run effects of a universal intervention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-181.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Drange, Nina & Havnes, Tarjei, 2015. "Child Care Before Age Two and the Development of Language and Numeracy: Evidence from a Lottery," IZA Discussion Papers 8904, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. 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.
    15. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2015. "Is universal child care leveling the playing field?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 100-114.
    16. Vito Peragine & Flaviana Palmisano & Paolo Brunori, 2014. "Economic Growth and Equality of Opportunity," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(2), pages 247-281.
    17. 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).
    18. 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.
    19. Marrero, Gustavo A. & Rodríguez, Juan G., 2013. "Inequality of opportunity and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 107-122.
    20. Xavier Ramos & Dirk Van de gaer, 2021. "Is Inequality of Opportunity Robust to the Measurement Approach?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 67(1), pages 18-36, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    equality of opportunity; public policy; inverse stochastic dominance; economic distance; income distribution; child care; pre-school;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

    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:dp8503. 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.