Skip to main content

Inequality of opportunity in Italy

Abstract

In this paper we provide a methodology to measure opportunity inequality and to decompose overall income inequality in an “ethically offensive” and an “ethically acceptable” part. Moreover, we analyze inequality of opportunity in Italy. According to our results, inequality of opportunity accounts for about 20% of overall income inequality in Italy. Moreover, the regions in the South are characterized by a higher degree of opportunity inequality than the regions in the North, especially when considering population subgroups by gender.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Alesina, A., La Ferrara, E.: Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities. J. Public Econ. 89, 897–931 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Arneson, R.: Equality of opportunity for welfare. Philos. Stud. 56, 77–93 (1989)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Bossert, W.: Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics. Math. Soc. Sci. 29, 1–17 (1995)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Bourguignon, F., Ferreira, F.H.G., Menendez, M.: Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunities in Brazil. DELTA working papers 24 (2003)

  5. 5.

    Bourguignon, F., Ferreira, F.H.G., Walton, M.: Equity, efficiency and inequality traps: a research agenda. J. Econ. Inequal. 5, 235–256 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Checchi, D., Dardanoni, V.: Mobility comparisons: does using different measures matter? Res. Econ. Inequal. 9, 113–145 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Checchi, D., Peragine, V.: Regional disparities and inequality of opportunity: the case of Italy. IZA discussion paper no. 1874/2005 (2005)

  8. 8.

    Checchi, D., Peragine, V., Serlenga, L.: Income inequality and opportunity inequality in Europe. mimeo (2009)

  9. 9.

    Cohen, G.A.: On the currency of egalitarian justice. Ethics 99, 906–944 (1989)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Dardanoni, V., Fields, G., Roemer, J., Sanchez Puerta, M.: How demanding should equality of opportunity be, and how much have we achieved? In: Morgan, S.L., Grusky, D., Fields, G. (eds.) Mobility and Inequality: Frontiers of Research in Sociology and Economics. Stanford University Press, Stanford (2005)

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Devooght, K.: To each the same and to each his own. A proposal to measure responsibility-sensitive income inequality. C.E.S. discussion paper DPS 04.49 (2004)

  12. 12.

    Dworkin, R.: What is equality? Part1: equality of welfare. Philos. Public Aff. 10, 185–246, 283–345 (1981a)

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Dworkin, R.: What is equality? Part2: equality of resources. Philos. Public Aff. 10, 185–246, 283–345 (1981b)

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Ferreira, F., Gignoux, J.: Inequality of economic opportunity in Latin America. mimeo (2007)

  15. 15.

    Flaurbaey, M., Peragine, V.: Ex ante versus ex post equality of opportunity. mimeo (2009)

  16. 16.

    Fleurbaey, M.: Three solutions for the compensation problem. J. Econ. Theory 65, 505–521 (1995)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Fleurbaey, M.: Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare. Oxford University Press, London (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Fleurbaey, M., Maniquet, F.: Compensation and responsibility. In: Arrow, K., Sen, A., Suzumura, K. (eds.) Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare. Elsevier, New York (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Foster, J.E., Shneyerov, A.A.: Path independent inequality measures. J. Econ. Theory 91, 199–222 (2000)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Goux, D., Maurin, E.: On the evaluation of equality of opportunity for income: axioms and evidence. mimeo, INSEE (2003)

  21. 21.

    Lefranc, A., Pistolesi, N., Trannoy, A.: Inequality of opportunities vs inequality of outcomes: are Western Societies all alike? Working papers 54, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (2006)

  22. 22.

    Moreno-Ternero, J.: On the design of equal-opportunity policies. Investig. Econ. 31, 351–374 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Peragine, V.: Opportunity egalitarianism and income inequality: the rank-dependent approach. Math. Soc. Sci. 44, 45–64 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Peragine, V.: Measuring and implementing equality of opportunity for income. Soc. Choice Welf. 22, 1–24 (2004a)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Peragine, V.: Ranking income distributions according to equality of opportunity. J. Econ. Inequal. 2, 11–30 (2004b)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Peragine, V., Serlenga, L.: Equality of opportunity for higher education in Italy. In: Bishop, J., Zheng, B. (eds.) Research in Economic Inequality, vol. 12 (2008)

  27. 27.

    Pistolesi, N.: Inequality of opportunity in the land of opportunities, 1968–201. mimeo (2008)

  28. 28.

    Rawls, J.: A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1971)

    Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Roemer, J.E.: A pragmatic theory of responsibility for the egalitarian planner. Philos. Public Aff. 22, 146–166 (1993)

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Roemer, J.E.: Equality of Opportunity. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1998)

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Ruiz-Castillo, J.: The measurement of inequality of opportunities. In: Bishop, J., Amiel, Y. (eds.) Research in Economic Inequality, vol. 9, pp. 1–34 (2003)

  32. 32.

    Van de Gaer, D.: Equality of opportunity and investment in human capital. Ph.D. dissertation, Catholic University of Louvain (1993)

  33. 33.

    Villar, A.: On the welfare evaluation of income and opportunity. In: Contributions to Theoretical Economics, vol. 5, pp. 1129–1129. Berkeley Electronic Press (2006)

  34. 34.

    World Bank: World Development Report 2006: Equity and Development. The World Bank and Oxford University Press, Washington, DC (2006)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vito Peragine.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Checchi, D., Peragine, V. Inequality of opportunity in Italy. J Econ Inequal 8, 429–450 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-009-9118-3

Download citation

Keywords

  • Inequality of opportunity
  • Income inequality
  • Intergenerational mobility