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Measuring inequality of opportunity with imperfect data : the case of Turkey

  • Ferreira, Francisco H. G.
  • Gignoux, Jeremie
  • Aran, Meltem

The measurement of inequality of opportunity has hitherto not been attempted in a number of countries because of data limitations. This paper proposes two alternative approaches to circumventing the missing data problems in countries where a demographic and health survey and an ancillary household expenditure survey are available. One method relies only on the demographic and health survey, and constructs a wealth index as a measure of economic advantage. The alternative method imputes consumption from the ancillary survey into the demographic and health survey. In both cases, the between-type share of overall inequality is computed as a lower bound estimator of inequality of opportunity. Parametric and non-parametric estimates are calculated for both methods, and the parametric approach is shown to yield preferable lower-bound measures. In an application to the sample of ever-married women aged 30-49 in Turkey, inequality of opportunity accounts for at least 26 percent (31 percent) of overall inequality in imputed consumption (the wealth index).

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5204.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5204
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  1. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
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  3. Ferreira , Francisco H. G. & Gignoux, Jeremie, 2008. "The measurement of inequality of opportunity : theory and an application to Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4659, The World Bank.
  4. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
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  7. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2008. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199215911.
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  14. Stanislav Kolenikov & Gustavo Angeles, 2009. "Socioeconomic Status Measurement With Discrete Proxy Variables: Is Principal Component Analysis A Reliable Answer?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(1), pages 128-165, 03.
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  17. Lefranc, A. & Pistolesi, Nicolas & Trannoy, Alain, 2005. "Inequality of opportunities vs inequality of outcomes: are western societies all alike?," ISER Working Paper Series 2005-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  18. Arnaud LEFRANC & Nicolas PISTOLESI & Alain TRANNOY, 2009. "Equality of opportunity and luck: De nitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," THEMA Working Papers 2009-01, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  19. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
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  21. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Italy," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 429-450, December.
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