EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty

Paul Hufe, Ravi Kanbur () and Andreas Peichl ()
Additional contact information
Ravi Kanbur: Cornell University

No 11601, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Rising income inequalities are widely debated in public and academic discourse. In this paper, we contribute to this debate by proposing a new family of measures of unfair inequality. To do so, we acknowledge that inequality is not bad per se, but that its underlying sources need to be taken into account. Thereby, this paper is the first to reconcile two prominent fairness principles, namely equality of opportunity and freedom from poverty, into a joint measure of unfair inequality. Two empirical applications provide important new insights on the development of unfair inequality both over time (in the US) and across countries (in Europe). First, unfair inequality shows different time trends and country rankings compared to total inequality. Second, average unfair inequality doubles when complementing the ideal of an equal opportunity society with poverty aversion. Furthermore, we show that an exclusive focus on top incomes may misguide fairness judgments.

Keywords: inequality; equality of opportunity; poverty; fairness; measurement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D63 I32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 50 pages
Date: 2018-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-ltv
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://ftp.iza.org/dp11601.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Measuring unfair inequality: Reconciling equality of opportunity and freedom from poverty (2018) Downloads
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:iza:izadps:dp11601

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

 
Page updated 2020-08-11
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11601