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Equality of Opportunities: Cardinality-Based Criteria

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In this paper we study possible rankings of opportunity profiles. An opportunity profile is a list of sets of alternative opportunities, one set for each agent in the society. We compare such opportunity profiles on the basis of the notion of "equality of opportunities". Our main results show the necessary and sufficient conditions for this comparison to be made using exclusively the information provided by two cardinal measures: the number of common alternatives for all sets in a given profile and/or the difference between the number of alternatives of individual sets. We also show that, under given circumstances, the only way to solve conflicts between these two numbers is to combine them in a lexicographic procedure.

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  • Ricardo Arlegi & Jorge Nieto, 1998. "Equality of Opportunities: Cardinality-Based Criteria," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 9818, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:nav:ecupna:9818
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.unavarra.es/pub/DocumentosTrab/DT9818.PDF
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    1. Bossert, W & Fleurbaey, M & Van de gaer, D, 1996. "On Second-Best Compensation," Working Papers 9601, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
    2. Kranich, Laurence, 1995. "The distribution of oportunities: a normative theory," UC3M Working papers. Economics 3910, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    3. Kranich, Laurence, 1996. "Equitable Opportunities: An Axiomatic Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 131-147, October.
    4. Herrero, Carmen, 1997. "Equitable opportunities: an extension," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 91-95, August.
    5. 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;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(3), pages 371-382.
    6. Herrero, Carmen & Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Inigo & Nieto, Jorge, 1998. "Ranking opportunity profiles on the basis of the common opportunities," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 273-289, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Iñigo Iturbe Ormaetxe & Carmen Herrero Blanco & Jorge Nieto, 1995. "Ranking Social Decisions Without Individual Preferences On The Basis Of Opportunities," Working Papers. Serie AD 1995-23, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    9. Ok, Efe A., 1997. "On Opportunity Inequality Measurement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 300-329, December.
    10. Sen, Amartya, 1991. "Welfare, preference and freedom," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 15-29, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vitorocco Peragine, "undated". "Responsibility Compensation and Income Distribution," Discussion Papers 98/13, Department of Economics, University of York.

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