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Measuring Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity

  • Dirk Van de gaer;

    ()

  • Michel Martinez;

    (THEMA/DELTA)

  • Erik Schokkaert

    ()

    (KULeuven)

This paper explores the link between the measurement of intergenerational mobility and the notion of equality of opportunity. We show how recently proposed theories of equality of opportunity can be meaningfully adapted to the intergenerational context. This throws a new light on the interpretation of existing mobility measures: these may be interesting to measure mobility as movement, but they are inadequate to capture the notion of equality of opportunity. We propose some new mobility measures, which start from the idea that the intergenerational transition matrix gives useful information about the opportunity sets of the children of different social classes. These measures are used in an empirical illustration to evaluate the degree of inequality of opportunity in the US, Great Britain and Italy.

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File URL: http://repec.maynoothuniversity.ie/mayecw-files/N780598.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n780598.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n780598
Contact details of provider: Postal: Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Phone: 353-1-7083728
Fax: 353-1-7083934
Web page: http://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/economics-finance-and-accounting

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  1. Fleurbaey Marc, 1995. "Three Solutions for the Compensation Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 505-521, April.
  2. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
  3. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
  4. Dardanoni Valentino, 1993. "Measuring Social Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 372-394, December.
  5. Conlisk, John, 1989. "Ranking mobility matrices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 231-235.
  6. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  7. Checchi, Daniele & Ichino, Andrea & Rustichini, Aldo, 1996. "More Equal but Less Mobile? Education Financing and Intergenerational Mobility in Italy and in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 1496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Cowell, Frank A, 1985. "Measures of Distributional Change: An Axiomatic Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 135-51, January.
  9. Behrman, Jere & Tarbman, Paul, 1985. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility in the United States: Some Estimates and a Test of Becker's Intergenerational Endowments Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 144-51, February.
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