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On the Concept of Equity in Opportunity

Author

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  • Son, Hyun H.

    (Asian Development Bank)

Abstract

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: http://www.adb.org/Documents/Working-Papers/2011/Economics-WP266.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    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

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