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

  • Donal O'Neill

    ()

  • Olive Sweetman

    ()

  • Dirk van de gaer

    ()

    (Economics, National University of Ireland, Maynooth)

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.

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File URL: http://repec.maynoothuniversity.ie/mayecw-files/N950999.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 n950999.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n950999
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. "Equal Opportunity or Equal Social Outcome?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 25-55, April.
  2. Efe A. Ok & Laurence Kranich, 1998. "The measurement of opportunity inequality: a cardinality-based approach," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 263-287.
  3. Julian R. Betts & John E. Roemer, . "Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform," Department of Economics 99-8, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  4. Dirk Van de Gaer & Michel Martinez & Erik Schokkaert, 1998. "Measuring Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces9810, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  5. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  6. Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1996. "Redistribution and compensation (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 343-355.
  7. Bossert, W., 1993. "Redistribution Mechanisms Based on Individual Characteristics," Working Papers 9307, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  8. IÓigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe, 1997. "Redistribution and individual characteristics," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 45-55.
  9. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian," Labor and Demography 9808001, EconWPA.
  10. Bossert Walter & Pattanaik Prasanta K. & Xu Yongsheng, 1994. "Ranking Opportunity Sets: An Axiomatic Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 326-345, August.
  11. Trede, Mark, 1998. "Making mobility visible: a graphical device," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 77-82, April.
  12. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equality and responsibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 683-689, April.
  13. Kranich, Laurence, 1996. "Equitable Opportunities: An Axiomatic Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 131-147, October.
  14. Dirk Van de gaer & Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1999. "Responsibility, talent, and compensation: A second-best analysis," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 35-55.
  15. Nicolas Gravel, 1998. "Ranking opportunity sets on the basis of their freedom of choice and their ability to satisfy preferences: A difficulty," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 371-382.
  16. Roemer, J.E., 1992. "A Pragmatic Theory of Responsibility for the Egalitarian Planner," Papers 391, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  17. Fleurbaey Marc, 1995. "Three Solutions for the Compensation Problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 505-521, April.
  18. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
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