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Adi Lazar

The chapter suggests two methodologies to measure inequality of opportunity in health in Israel, an ex-ante and an ex-post approach. In both cases, following the strategy…

Abstract

The chapter suggests two methodologies to measure inequality of opportunity in health in Israel, an ex-ante and an ex-post approach. In both cases, following the strategy recently suggested by Trannoy, Tubeuf, Jusot, and Devaux (2010), the chapter starts by introducing the production function of health, taking into account circumstances (the father’s years of education, his country of birth, the religion of the individual, his or her country of birth, age and gender) as well as effort variables (the level of education of the individual, his or her occupation and a variable describing his or her smoking habits).

The chapter also suggests then a decomposition of the overall health inequality into a legitimate and an illegitimate component, using the mean logarithmic deviation as inequality index, such a breakdown being applied to both the ex-ante and the ex-post approaches to equality of opportunity.

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Health and Inequality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-553-1

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Daniele Checchi, Vito Peragine and Laura Serlenga

This paper studies the cross-country differences in conventional measures of inequality of opportunity in Europe in the space of individual disposable incomes. Exploiting…

Abstract

This paper studies the cross-country differences in conventional measures of inequality of opportunity in Europe in the space of individual disposable incomes. Exploiting two recent waves of the EUSILC database reporting information on family background (2005 and 2011), we provide estimates of inequality of opportunity in about 30 European countries for two sufficiently distant data points, allowing a check of consistency for country rankings. In addition, we exploit two observations available for most of the countries to explore the relationship between many institutional dimensions and inequality of opportunity, finding evidence of negative correlation with educational expenditure (especially at the pre-primary level) and passive labour market policies.

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Inequality: Causes and Consequences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-810-0

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Arnaud Lefranc, Nicolas Pistolesi and Alain Trannoy

Purpose – We analyze equality of opportunity for earnings acquisition in France between 1973 and 1993 defining individual circumstances by parental earnings. We compare…

Abstract

Purpose – We analyze equality of opportunity for earnings acquisition in France between 1973 and 1993 defining individual circumstances by parental earnings. We compare two different definitions of circumstances. In the first one they are measured by the father's earnings level, in the second one by the father's rank in the earnings distribution.

Methodology – First we use stochastic dominance tools. Then we decompose the evolution of inequality of opportunity using the mean logarithmic deviation and the results of regressions of descendants’ earnings on their parents’ earnings.

Findings – Inequality of opportunity has remained stable when conditioning on the earnings level of the father, whereas it has diminished when conditioning on his rank in the earnings distribution. The former result is explained by the stable intergenerational earnings elasticity. The latter by the decreasing wage inequality in the previous generation.

Originality – Our analysis emphasizes that the assessment of equality of opportunity and its evolution is very sensitive to the partition of circumstances used. Moreover, it stresses the complementarity between the discrete and the continuous approaches for measuring inequality of opportunity.

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Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and Measurement
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-035-3

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Damien Bricard, Florence Jusot, Alain Trannoy and Sandy Tubeuf

This chapter aims to quantify and compare inequalities of opportunity in health across European countries considering two alternative normative ways of treating the…

Abstract

This chapter aims to quantify and compare inequalities of opportunity in health across European countries considering two alternative normative ways of treating the correlation between effort, as measured by lifestyles, and circumstances, as measured by parental and childhood characteristics, championed by Brian Barry and John Roemer. This study relies on regression analysis and proposes several measures of inequality of opportunity. Data from the Retrospective Survey of SHARELIFE, which focuses on life histories of European people aged 50 and over, are used.

In Europe at the whole, inequalities of opportunity stand for almost 50% of the health inequality due to circumstances and efforts in Barry scenario and 57.5% in Roemer scenario. The comparison of the magnitude of inequalities of opportunity in health across European countries shows considerable inequalities in Austria, France, Spain and Germany, whereas Sweden, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland present the lowest inequalities of opportunity. The normative principle on the way to treat the correlation between circumstances and efforts makes little difference in Spain, Austria, Greece, France, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland, whereas it would matter the most in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Poland and Denmark.

In most countries, inequalities of opportunity in health are mainly driven by social background affecting adult health directly, and so would require policies compensating for poorer initial conditions. On the other hand, our results suggest a strong social and family determinism of lifestyles in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Poland and Denmark, which emphasises the importance of inequalities of opportunity in health within those countries and calls for targeted prevention policies.

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Flaviana Palmisano

Purpose – This chapter aims at proposing a methodology for evaluating long-term income distributions according to the equality of opportunity principle.Approach – We refer…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter aims at proposing a methodology for evaluating long-term income distributions according to the equality of opportunity principle.

Approach – We refer to the concept that there is equality of opportunity if the value of the set of opportunities is the same for all individuals, regardless of their circumstances. This approach partitions the population into types, that is, groups of individuals with the same set of circumstances. The type-specific outcome distribution is interpreted as the opportunity set of individuals with the same circumstances. We propose partial and complete rankings on long-term type-specific distributions. Accordingly, these rankings capture inequality between types, and are neutral to inequality within types.

Findings – We show the relationship between long-run and short-run inequality of opportunity and that this relationship can be interpreted in terms of intragenerational mobility. We also show that mobility can act as an equalizer of opportunities when the accounting period is extended.

Originality – The contribution of this work is twofold. First, we develop a decomposition of some measures of long-term inequality of opportunity into measures of short-term inequality of opportunity, applied to distributions, which neutralize the effect of effort on individual income, and may be employed to explain eventual differences arising from an analysis based on the intertemporal context. Second, we propose an index to measure intragenerational mobility and show how it can be interpreted as long-term EOp. Our measure captures only that part of reranking due to the equalization of opportunities over time.

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Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and Measurement
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-035-3

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Article

Indra Indra, Suahasil Nazara, Djoni Hartono and Sudarno Sumarto

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the inequality of opportunity among Indonesian school-age children from 2002 to 2012. It focuses on the possibilities of accessing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the inequality of opportunity among Indonesian school-age children from 2002 to 2012. It focuses on the possibilities of accessing basic needs, such as primary education, secondary education, electricity and clean water.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used three interrelated indicators, namely, coverage access rate, dissimilarity index and human opportunity index. It also applied Shapley decomposition to measure the contributions of each determinant of inequality opportunities. These data were obtained from the National Household Survey conducted in 2002-2012.

Findings

This study revealed that the level of access to all basic needs, except clean water, was likely to increase with even distribution during the observation period. Moreover, the decomposition results showed that the education of household heads, household income and region (rural-urban) were the main contributors to the total inequality of opportunity.

Originality/value

This study on the inequality of opportunity is interesting, for it is tightly related to inequality of outcome, i.e. income, expenditure and wealth. It is arguable that the inequality of outcome, nowadays, is a reflection of the past inequality in basic opportunities. Thus, the exploration of potential inequality drivers begins to be increasingly important, as it can assist the policymakers in drawing effective policies to repress the increasing trend of future inequality.

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

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Ana Suárez Álvarez and Ana Jesús López Menéndez

The aim of this chapter is to shed some light on the behavior of Income Inequality and Inequality of Opportunity over time for 26 European countries. The analysis is…

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to shed some light on the behavior of Income Inequality and Inequality of Opportunity over time for 26 European countries. The analysis is carried out using microdata collected by the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), which incorporates a wide variety of personal harmonized variables, allowing comparability between countries. The availability of this database for years 2004 and 2010 is particularly relevant to assess changes over time in the main inequality indices and the contribution of circumstances to inequality of opportunity. Furthermore, a bootstrap estimation is performed with the aim of testing whether the differences between both years are statistically significant.

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Inequality, Taxation and Intergenerational Transmission
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-458-9

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Article

Willian Boschetti Adamczyk and Adelar Fochezatto

This article aims to measure inequality of income and opportunities at the national and state levels in Brazil, highlighting their acceptable and unacceptable components.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to measure inequality of income and opportunities at the national and state levels in Brazil, highlighting their acceptable and unacceptable components.

Design/methodology/approach

To this end, a lower-bound estimate of income inequality (MLD) and inequality of opportunity (IOp) was developed using data from the National Household Sample Survey between 2001 and 2014.

Findings

It shows that the disparity of income measured by the MLD decreased 26.7 percent, while IOp measured by the IOp decreased 25.6 percent during that period. The decline in total inequality can be attributed to a 48.5 percent decrease of its unfair component and 51.5 percent decrease of its fair component. The average income of the most disadvantaged group (non-white women working in the informal sector) is shown to be only 29.5 percent of the income of the most advantaged group (formally employed white men). The groups at the greatest disadvantage were most benefited by the increase in income.

Originality/value

Beyond comparisons among countries, analysis at the subnational level make it possible to identify how the process that generates inequality acts in each state, revealing patterns undetected in the aggregate analysis. Its decomposition generates two products that are useful to policy-makers. The first is a base estimate of the degree of IOp present in society, which may be expressed as an indicator of the degree of IOp. The second examines the portion of total inequality attributable to IOp.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 47 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

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Article

Vladimir Hlasny

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate opportunities for early childhood development (ECD) regarding children’s prenatal care, access to nutrition, health, parental care…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate opportunities for early childhood development (ECD) regarding children’s prenatal care, access to nutrition, health, parental care and cognitive-developmental activities, in 33 surveys from 13 countries. A total of 15 indicators for children’s opportunities are assessed including their typical level, inequality across demographic groups, and factors responsible.

Design/methodology/approach

Probability regressions estimate the effects of various household circumstances on children’s engagement in development opportunities. Dissimilarity indexes and human opportunity indexes are computed for each ECD dimension. To understand the impact of each household characteristic, Shorrocks-Shapley decomposition is performed.

Findings

ECD opportunities are poor but improving and becoming more equal across many countries. Progress is uneven. As may be expected, household wealth affects inequality for ECD opportunities facilitated by markets or governments, but not non-market opportunities. For preventive healthcare and preschool enrollment, access is deteriorating, reflecting low priority given to them in public policy. Children’s height falls behind in the first two years of children’s life, suggesting the need for targeted institutional interventions. Surprisingly, countries experiencing uprisings see conditions improving, while other Arab countries see them stagnating or deteriorating.

Originality/value

Local and national policy should tackle the identified opportunity gaps. Policymakers should allocate proper investment in medical and educational infrastructure and better coordinate support for disadvantaged families to ensure proper prenatal and ECD. International organizations should provide assistance with these programs.

Details

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4902

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Denis Cogneau and Sandrine Mesplé-Somps

Purpose: This paper examines for the first time inequality of opportunity for income in Africa, by analyzing large-sample surveys, all providing information on…

Abstract

Purpose: This paper examines for the first time inequality of opportunity for income in Africa, by analyzing large-sample surveys, all providing information on individuals’ parental background, in five comparable Sub-Saharan countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, and Uganda.

Methodology/approach: We compute inequality of opportunity indexes in keeping with the main proposals in the literature, and propose a decomposition of between-country differences that distinguishes the respective impacts of intergenerational mobility between social origins and positions, of the distribution of education and occupations, and of the earnings structure.

Findings: Among our five countries, Ghana in 1988 has by far the lowest income inequality between individuals of different social origins, while Madagascar in 1993 displays the highest. Ghana in 1998, Ivory Coast in 1985–1988, Guinea in 1994, and Uganda in 1992 stand in-between. Decompositions reveal that the two former British colonies (Ghana and Uganda) share a much higher intergenerational educational and occupational mobility than the three former French colonies. Further, Ghana distinguishes itself from the four other countries, because of the combination of widespread secondary schooling, low returns to education, and low income dualism against agriculture. Nevertheless, it displays marked regional inequality insofar as being born in the Northern part of this country produces a significant restriction of income opportunities.

Originality/value of paper: By providing the first figures for five countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, this paper allows enlarging the sample of international comparisons in the study of inequality of opportunity. It also reveals some suggestive evidence regarding the long-term origin of intergenerational mobility differences, and in particular the colonial legacy of school extension and of dualism against agriculture.

Details

Inequality and Opportunity: Papers from the Second ECINEQ Society Meeting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-135-0

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