The Journal of Economic Inequality

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 343–373 | Cite as

A dissimilarity index of multidimensional inequality of opportunity

  • Gaston YalonetzkyEmail author


A recent literature on inequality of opportunity offers quantitative tools for comparisons and measurement based on stochastic dominance criteria and traditional inequality indices. In this paper I suggest an additional way of assessing inequality of opportunity with two indices of dissimilarity across distributions. The indices are based on a traditional homogeneity test of multinomial distributions and are similar to the square coefficient of variation (Reardon and Firebaugh, Sociol Method 32:33–67, 2002). Their properties are studied, as well as their usefulness and limitations in applications when both circumstances and advantages/outcomes are multidimensional. An empirical application measures changes in inequality of opportunity from an old to a young cohort in Peru. The importance of assessing the sensitivity of the results to group definitions and group proportions is highlighted.


Inequality of opportunity Dissimilarity index 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OPHIUniversity of OxfordOxfordEngland

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