IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rio/texdis/478.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil

Author

Listed:
  • François Bourguignon

    (World Bank)

  • Francisco H. G. Ferreira

    () (World Bank and Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

  • Marta Menendez

    (DELTA)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menendez, 2003. "Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil," Textos para discussão 478, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:478
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.puc-rio.br/uploads/adm/trabalhos/files/td478.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lanjouw, Peter & Neri, Marcelo Côrtes, 2003. "A Robust Poverty Profile for Brazil Using Multiple Data Sources," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 57(1), January.
    2. Thomas Piketty, 1995. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 551-584.
    3. Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2001), pages 1-44, August.
    4. 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.
    5. 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 Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality of Opportunities; Intergenerational Educational Mobility JEL Codes: D31; D63; J62;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:478. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dpucrbr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.