, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 230-246
Date: 04 Jun 2010

The Effect of Family Background on Individual Wages and an Examination of Inequality of Opportunity in India

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The paper attempts to explore the role of family background in contributing to the overall economic inequality in Indian society. Drawing on the recent work on equality of opportunity, and using the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS, 2004–05), paper finds that the opportunity share of inequality in wage earnings in India ranges from 11% to 17% across different age based cohorts. Given the conservative view of what constitutes responsibility, the analysis is likely to identify only the lower bound of opportunity inequality. The paper also calls for redistributive policies favoring those who suffer from inferior circumstances.