- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy
- List of Contributors
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Inequality and Poverty Measures
- Social Welfare Functions
- QALY-Based Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
- Fair Allocation
- Social Ordering Functions
- Multidimensional Indicators of Inequality and Poverty
- Happiness-Based Policy Analysis
- Preference-Based Views of Well-Being
- Mental State Approaches to Well-Being
- Objective Goods
- Subjective Well-Being in Psychology
- Subjective Well-Being in Economics
- Equivalent Income
- Extended Preferences
- SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being
- Does the Choice of Well-Being Measure Matter Empirically?
- Does Fairness Require a Multidimensional Approach?
- The Capability Approach and Well-Being Measurement for Public Policy
- Measuring Poverty: A Proposal
- Multidimensional Poverty Indices: A Critical Assessment
- Social Evaluation under Risk and Uncertainty
- Individual Responsibility and Equality of Opportunity
- Welfare Comparisons with Heterogeneous Prices, Consumption, and Preferences
- Welfare and the Household
- Preference Inconsistency: A Psychological Perspective
- Lifetime Well-Being
- The Well-Being of Future Generations
- Author Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
Building on earlier work by political philosophers, economists have recently sought to define a concept of equity that accommodates the fairness of reward to individual responsibility and effort, while allowing for the existence of some inequalities that are unfair and should be compensated. This chapter provides a critical review of the economic literature on equality and inequality of opportunity. A simple “canonical model” of equal opportunity is proposed, and used to explore the two fundamental concepts in this (relatively) new theory of social justice: the principles of compensation and reward. Ex ante and ex post versions of the compensation principle are presented, and the tensions between them are discussed. Different approaches to the measurement of inequality of opportunity—and empirical applications—are reviewed, and implications for the measurement of poverty and of the rate of economic development are discussed.
Francisco H. G. Ferreira is a Lead Economist with the World Bank's Research Department, and a co-editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, and has taught at PUC-Rio de Janeiro.
Professor of Economics, University of Bari
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