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Measurement of inequality of opportunity: A normative approach

Kristof Bosmans () and Z. Emel Öztürk ()
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Kristof Bosmans: Maastricht University
Z. Emel Öztürk: Tilburg University

The Journal of Economic Inequality, 2021, vol. 19, issue 2, No 1, 213-237

Abstract: Abstract We develop a normative approach to the measurement of inequality of opportunity. That is, we measure inequality of opportunity by the welfare gain obtained in moving from the actual income distribution to the optimal income distribution of the total available income. Our study brings together the main approaches in the literature: we axiomatically characterize social welfare functions, we obtain prominent allocation rules as their optima, and we derive familiar classes of inequality of opportunity measures. Our analysis captures moreover the key philosophical distinctions in the literature: ex post versus ex ante compensation, and liberal versus utilitarian reward.

Keywords: Inequality of opportunity; Income inequality; Responsibility; Social welfare (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10888-020-09468-1

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