Equality of opportunity and luck: Denitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France
We oer a model of equality of opportunity that encompasses dierent conceptions expressed in the public and philosophical debates. In addition to circumstances whose eect on outcome should be compensated and eort which represents a legitimate source of inequality, we introduce a third factor, luck, that captures the random factors whose impact on outcome should be even-handed for equality of opportunity to be satised. Then, we analyse how the various denitions of equality of opportunity can be empirically identied, given data limitations and provide testable conditions. Denitions and conditions resort to standard stochastic dominance tools. Lastly, we develop an empirical analysis of equality of opportunity for income acquisition in France over the period 1979-2000 which reveals that the degree of inequality of opportunity tends to decrease and that the degree of risk of income distributions, conditional on social origin, appears very similar across all groups of social origins.
Equality of opportunity, Luck, Stochastic dominance, Income distribution.
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