IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the Concept of Equity in Opportunity


  • Son, Hyun H.

    (Asian Development Bank)


Measuring the equity of opportunity in a given society is an essential ingredient in the formulation of policies and programs that promote inclusive growth. In this paper, equity of opportunity is defined and measured through the theoretical framework of the social opportunity function, a concept similar to the social welfare function. The functional and graphical distribution of opportunity is discussed through the generalized Lorenz curve and the Bonferroni curve, while complete ranking of distributions is achieved through their related numerical indices: the concentration index and the Bonferroni index of opportunity, respectively. The concepts of relative and absolute measures of equity of opportunity are then introduced and a social opportunity index that considers both the amount and distribution of opportunity is developed. These measures are used to analyze changes in the opportunities for health care and education in the Philippines from 1998 to 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Son, Hyun H., 2011. "On the Concept of Equity in Opportunity," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 266, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0266
    Note: URL:

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Equity; Opportunity; Bonferroni Index; Concentration Index; Generalized Lorenz Curve; Education; Health;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


    Access and download statistics


    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:ris:adbewp:0266. 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: (Maria Susan M. Torres). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.