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Measuring and implementing equality of opportunity for income

Vito Peragine ()

Social Choice and Welfare, 2004, vol. 22, issue 1, 187-210

Abstract: Departing from the welfarist tradition, recent theories of justice focus on individual opportunities as the appropriate standard for distributive judgments. To explore how this philosophical conception can be translated into concrete public policy, we select the income as relevant outcome and the income tax as the relevant redistributive policy, and we address the following questions: (i) what is the degree of opportunity inequality in an income distribution? (ii) how to design an opportunity egalitarian income tax policy? Several criteria for ranking income distributions on the basis of equality of opportunities are derived. Moreover, we characterize an opportunity egalitarian income tax and we formulate criteria for choosing among alternative tax schedules. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2004

Date: 2004
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