Carmen Herrero

Carmen Herrero
pas labex
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

15/01/2018 - 13/07/2018


Économie et finance

Fonction d’origine


Institution d’origine

University of Alicante, Economics Department (Espagne)

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Opportunity bias : an alternative approach to fairness

One of the most important questions in dealing with policy evaluation nowadays is about the selection of methodologies that should be used to evaluate governmental policy and societal condition in the light of well-being, going beyond GDP. Indicators of well-being appear in categorical terms, so that we face the problem of evaluating distributions of categorical data. The assessment of the degree of unfairness of an outcome distribution in the vein of opportunities is solved by measuring how different are the outcome distributions of population subgroups that have similar circumstances. We can think of the opportunity bias viewpoint as an application of a basic non-discrimination principle by which we try to ensure that any new member of society will have access to its average chances, no matter which social group (type) she ends up in. We propose to measure of opportunity bias by means of the balanced worth, which provides a consistent cardinal way of comparing distributions of categorical data (see Herrero & Villar (2016)). There are several examples of applications that can be addressed by this methodology, from opportunity bias in education, to health, life satisfaction, etc.



After my PhD in Mathematics I moved to Economics. I published more than 60 papers in refereed journals and 7 monographs. I have also supervised 15 doctoral dissertations. My research has covered rather different topics along my career, from my initial contributions on non-linear extensions of input-output analysis, to my recent collaboration with United Nations (first regarding the Human Development Index and lately in the construction of an Index of Progress for the Green Economy). Perhaps the common theme to all those contributions is the implicit concern for social problems, particularly regarding equity.The rationale of social decisions and the evaluation of different aspects of social welfare are also present in most of my contributions, both theoretical and empirical. From the axiomatic approach to rationing problems, I moved towards social welfare problems with an empirical edge. In particular, I would mention my contributions in the field of Health Economics, involving the design of waiting lists, stressing the necessity of screening programs to early detection of illnesses or conditions and its relationship with equality of opportunity, or the computation of global health losses due to some public health problems. Besides my personal research I have devoted a significant effort to building institutions, setting academic standards, and managing national research programs. My career has been recognized by an Honorary Doctorate in 2014.