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A Dissimilarity Index of Multidimensional Inequality of Opportunity (Revised and Updated)

  • Gaston Yalonetzky

A recent literature on inequality of opportunity o¤ers quantitative tools for comparisons and measurement based on stochastic dominance criteria and traditional inequality indices. In this paper I suggest an additional way of assessing inequality of opportunity with two indices of dissimilarity across distributions. The indices are based on a traditional homogeneity test of multinomial distributions and are similar to the square coe¢ cient of variation (Reardon and Firebaugh, 2002). Their properties are studied, as well as their usefulness and limitations in applications when both circumstances and advantages/outcomes are multidimensional. An empirical application measures changes in inequality of opportunity from an old to a young cohort in Peru. The importance of assessing the sensitivity of the results to group de?nitions and group proportions is highlighted.

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Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series OPHI Working Papers with number ophiwp0039.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp0039
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  1. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
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  3. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Inequality of opportunities vs. inequality of outcomes: Are Western societies all alike?," Working Papers 54, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
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  12. Chris Elbers & Peter Lanjouw & Johan Mistiaen & Berk Özler, 2008. "Reinterpreting between-group inequality," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 231-245, September.
  13. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Jose R. Molinas Vega & Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2580, August.
  14. 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.
  15. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Sahn, David & Younger, Stephen D., 2001. "Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons," Cahiers de recherche 0115, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  16. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
  17. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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