1. The measurement of the inequality of opportunities

Inequality, Welfare and Poverty: Theory and Measurement

ISBN: 978-0-76231-014-2, eISBN: 978-1-84950-208-5

ISSN: 1049-2585

Publication date: 3 April 2003


Recent developments in the economic theory of justice recognize that an individual's income is a function of variables beyond and within the individual's control, called circumstances and effort, respectively. Inequality of opportunities refers to those income inequalities due exclusively to differential circumstances. Assuming that income comparisons across people with different circumstances are made according to Roemer's (1993, 1998) Pragmatic Theory of Responsibility, this interpretative paper discusses: (i) the scope of application of Peragine's (2000, 2002) approach to the partial ranking of income distributions in a number of static and dynamic scenarios; (ii) the use of complete indicators of inequality and social welfare to measure the inequality of opportunities along other types of income inequalities; and (iii) the connection between the measurement of the inequality of opportunities in a dynamic scenario and the existing theory of income mobility.


Ruiz-Castillo, J. (2003), "1. The measurement of the inequality of opportunities", Inequality, Welfare and Poverty: Theory and Measurement (Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1049-2585(03)09002-1

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