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Equalizing opportunities through public education when innate abilities are unobservable

Laurence Kranich ()

UC3M Working papers. Economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía

Abstract: I consider the problem of equalizing opportunities among agents who differ in both their tastes and innate productive abilities when these characteristics are unobservable. The government specifically wishes to offset the effects of differences in innate talents by affording public education or training to those with lesser skills. I first show that in the benchmark case involving complete infonnation it is possible to fully equalize opportunities as defmed axiomatically by Bossert and Fleurbaey. Moreover, in the incomplete infonnation case, it is possible to implement any input progressive education policy by means of a direct implementation/revelation mechanism. However, it is not possible to afford equal opportunities. I conclude with an example demonstrating the alternative, social welfare function approach which I argue is more suitable for second-best analyses.

Keywords: Equal; opportunities; Public; education; Individual; responsibility; Multidimensional; characteristics; Asymmetric; information (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1997-02
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Working Paper: Equalizing Opportunities through Public Education when Innate Abilities are Unobservable (1998)
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