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The evolution of inequality of opportunity in Germany: A machine learning approach

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  • Brunori, Paolo
  • Neidhöfer, Guido

Abstract

We show that measures of inequality of opportunity (IOP) fully consistent with Roemer (1998)'s IOP theory can be straightforwardly estimated by adopting a machine learning approach, and apply our novel method to analyse the development of IOP in Germany during the last three decades. Hereby, we take advantage of information contained in 25 waves of the Socio-Economic Panel. Our analysis shows that in Germany IOP declined immediately after reunification, increased in the first decade of the century, and slightly declined again after 2010. Over the entire period, at the top of the distribution we always find individuals that resided in West-Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, whose fathers had a high occupational position, and whose mothers had a high educational degree. East-German residents in 1989, with low educated parents, persistently qualify at the bottom.

Suggested Citation

  • Brunori, Paolo & Neidhöfer, Guido, 2020. "The evolution of inequality of opportunity in Germany: A machine learning approach," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-013, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:20013
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    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Salas-Rojo & Juan Gabriel Rodríguez, 2022. "Inheritances and wealth inequality: a machine learning approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 20(1), pages 27-51, March.
    2. repec:ehl:lserod:117404 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Brunori, Paolo & Davillas, Apostolos & Jones, Andrew M. & Scarchilli, Giovanna, 2022. "Model-based Recursive Partitioning to Estimate Unfair Health Inequalities in the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 204(C), pages 543-565.
    4. Arntz, Melanie & Lipowski, Cäcilia & Neidhöfer, Guido & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2022. "Computers as stepping stones? Technological change and equality of labor market opportunities," ZEW Discussion Papers 22-014, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Opportunity; SOEP; Germany;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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