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The Evolution of Opportunities for Children in Chile 1990-2006


  • Dante Contreras
  • Osvaldo Larragaña
  • Esteban Puentes
  • Tomás Rau


In this article we apply some recently developed methodologies (Paes de Barros et al, 2008) tomeasure the evolution of the inequality of opportunity in Chile in the 1990-2006 period. Theopportunities are measured as intermediate outcomes for children such as access to preschool,access to sanitary infrastructure, nutritional status and timely completion of secondary education.The distribution of these varies with coverage rates and how they distribute according topopulation subgroups, grouped by circumstances. These circumstances are exogenous (to thechildren) factors that contribute to determining socioeconomic outcomes. The more unequal thedistribution of outcomes due to differences in circumstances, the more unequal the distribution ofopportunity in the country. The results show a reduction in the inequality of opportunity in theperiod analyzed. The gains are of two classes. First, there have been substantial increases in socialservice coverage leading to a general improvement in opportunities. Second, the gap in accessprobabilities among population subgroups have been reduced, making the playing field morebalanced.

Suggested Citation

  • Dante Contreras & Osvaldo Larragaña & Esteban Puentes & Tomás Rau, 2009. "The Evolution of Opportunities for Children in Chile 1990-2006," Working Papers wp297, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:udc:wpaper:wp297

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    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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