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Is inequality of opportunity robust to the measurement approach?

Working Paper 2017-450

Abstract

Recent literature has suggested many ways of measuring equality of opportunity. We analyze in a systematic manner the various approaches put forth in the literature to show whether and to what extent different choices matter empirically. We use EU-SILC data for most European countries for 2005 and 2011. The choice between ex-ante and ex-post approaches is crucial and has a substantial influence on inequality of opportunity country orderings. Growth regressions also illustrate the relevance of conceptual choices. We only find significant negative effects for some direct parametric ex-ante measures.

Authors: Xavier Ramos, Dirk Van de gaer.

Keywords: Equality of opportunity, measurement, ex-ante, ex-post, direct approach, indirect approach, responsibility, effort, income, EU-SILC.
JEL: D3, D63.