Inequality of opportunity is defined as the difference in individuals’ outcome systematically correlated with morally irrelevant pre-determined circumstances, such as ethnicity, socio-economic background, area of birth. This definition has been extensively studied by economists on the assumption that, in addition to being normatively undesirable, it can be related to low potentials for growth. However, empirical estimations of inequality of opportunity require accessing rich data sources, rarely available in poorer countries. In this paper, we exploit 13 consumption household surveys to evaluate inequality of opportunity in 10 Sub-Saharan African countries. According to our results, the portion of total inequality that can be attributed to exogenous circumstances is between 40% and 56% for the generality of countries. Our estimates are significantly higher than what has been found by previous studies. We detect a positive association between total consumption inequality and inequality of opportunity, and we study the different sources of unequal opportunities. The place of birth and the education of the father appear to exert the most relevant role in shaping inequality of opportunity in the region.

Inequality of opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa

Brunori P.;Peragine V.
2019

Abstract

Inequality of opportunity is defined as the difference in individuals’ outcome systematically correlated with morally irrelevant pre-determined circumstances, such as ethnicity, socio-economic background, area of birth. This definition has been extensively studied by economists on the assumption that, in addition to being normatively undesirable, it can be related to low potentials for growth. However, empirical estimations of inequality of opportunity require accessing rich data sources, rarely available in poorer countries. In this paper, we exploit 13 consumption household surveys to evaluate inequality of opportunity in 10 Sub-Saharan African countries. According to our results, the portion of total inequality that can be attributed to exogenous circumstances is between 40% and 56% for the generality of countries. Our estimates are significantly higher than what has been found by previous studies. We detect a positive association between total consumption inequality and inequality of opportunity, and we study the different sources of unequal opportunities. The place of birth and the education of the father appear to exert the most relevant role in shaping inequality of opportunity in the region.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/269301
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