Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil
This paper departs from John Roemer's formulation of the theory of equality of opportunities. It seeks to determine what part of observed outcome inequality may be attributed to differences in observed 'circumstances', including family background, and what part is due to 'personal efforts'. We use a micro-econometric technique to simulate what the distribution of outcomes would look like if 'circumstances' were the same for everybody. This technique is applied to Brazilian data from the 1996 household survey, both on the distribution of earnings for active individuals and on the distribution of household income per capita. It is shown that observed circumstances are a major source of outcome inequality in Brazil, probably more so than in other countries for which information is available. Yet, the level of inequality after equalizing circumstances remains very high. While a policy aimed at equalizing opportunities - through facilitating more equal access to schooling, for instance - might therefore be successful in lowering Brazilian inequality somewhat, more ambitious targets for inequality reduction may require more direct income redistribution.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2003|
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- Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lanjouw, Peter & Neri, Marcelo Côrtes, 2003.
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- Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lanjouw, Peter & Neri, Marcelo Cortes, 2002. "A robust poverty profile for Brazil using multiple data sources," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 444, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
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ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION,
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- Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6485, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4267, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria Uribe & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Intergenerational mobility in Latin America," INFORMES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 002914, FEDESARROLLO.
- Thomas Piketty, 1994.
"Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics,"
94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
- Valéria Pero, 2001. "Et, à Rio, plus ça reste le même... Tendências da mobilidade social intergeracional no Rio de Janeiro," Anais do XXIX Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 29th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 096, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
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