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Equality of Opportunity and Kernel Density Estimation: An Application to Intergenerational Mobility

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  • Donal O'Neill

    ()

  • Olive Sweetman

    ()

  • Dirk van de gaer

    () (Economics, National University of Ireland, Maynooth)

Abstract

When economists talk about equality, they typically have equality of outcomes, like welfare or income in mind. However such a view of equality is not entirely satisfactory and theories of equality of opportunity have been developed and proposed as an alternative. While there has been some theoretical discussion of equality of opportunity in the public choice literature, the empirical implementation of many of these issues has been limited. In this paper we develop a nonparametric estimator of the opportunity sets facing individuals with different characteristics. This estimator allows us to visualise the choices available to individuals of different types. We then use this estimator to reexamine the intergenerational transmission process. Our estimates indicate that even for children who exhibit the same degree of responsibility, those from richer families earn substantially more than those from poorer families.

Suggested Citation

  • Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman & Dirk van de gaer, 1999. "Equality of Opportunity and Kernel Density Estimation: An Application to Intergenerational Mobility," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n950999, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  • Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n950999
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dirk Van de gaer; & Michel Martinez; & Erik Schokkaert, 1998. "Measuring Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n780598, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    2. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Equality of opportunity: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," Working Papers 53, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Francesco Andreoli & Arnaud Lefranc, 2013. "Equalization of opportunity: Definitions and implementable conditions," Working Papers 310, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Andrés Ham, 2010. "The Effect of Conditional Cash Transfers on Educational Opportunities - Experimental Evidence from Latin America," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0109, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    7. 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.
    8. Annegues, Ana Claudia & Figueiredo, Erik Alencar de & Santos de Farias Souza, Wallace Patrick, 2015. "Determinants of unfair inequality in Brazil, 1995 and 2009," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), April.
    9. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Walton, Michael, 2006. "Inequality of opportunity and economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3816, The World Bank.
    11. Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2007. "Higher Education and Equality of Opportunity in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 3163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Gustavo A. Marrero & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Europe: Economic and policy facts," Working Papers 172, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    13. Van de gaer, Dirk & Ramos, Xavier, 2015. "Measurement of Inequality of Opportunity Based on Counterfactuals," IZA Discussion Papers 9582, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. D. O’Neill & O. Sweetman & D. Van De Gaer, 2002. "Consequences of Specification Error for Distributional Analysis With an Application to Intergenerational Mobility," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 02/156, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    equality of opportunity; kernel density estimation; intergenerational mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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