EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Equality of opportunity: theory, measurement and policy implications

Vito Peragine () and Federico Biagi ()
Additional contact information
Federico Biagi: European Commission - JRC, https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en

No JRC118542, JRC Working Papers from Joint Research Centre (Seville site)

Abstract: In this report we present the Equality of opportunity approach, clarifying its theoretical foundations and empirical implications, and develop policy implications especially in the area of human capital investment. According to the equality of opportunity (EOp) approach, a primary goal of public policies is to insure that individuals develop their lives in a context where the playfield is levelled. The main idea behind EOp is that inequality in outcomes (e.g., income, wealth, human capital/education and health) is acceptable to the extent that it reflects the result of individual choices taken by individuals that share the same opportunities. According to the "equality of opportunities principle", inequalities that are due to variables beyond individual's control, called circumstances, (e.g. family socioeconomic and cultural background, ethnic origin, gender, age etc.), should be eliminated or compensated for by public intervention. Only those variables within the sphere of individual's autonomy, called effort, (e.g., number of hours devoted to study or work, quality of the work supplied, occupational choices etc.) can justify a difference in the relevant outcome variable. This implies that the equality of opportunity approach is consistent with the notion of fair inequality, as long as it originates from effort.

Keywords: Equality of opportunity; Fairness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-12
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC118542 (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ipt:iptwpa:jrc118542

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in JRC Working Papers from Joint Research Centre (Seville site) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Publication Officer ().

 
Page updated 2020-07-02
Handle: RePEc:ipt:iptwpa:jrc118542