Vito Peragine

Vito Peragine

dates de séjour

01/02/2012 - 30/06/2012






Université de Bari, Italie

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

On the measurement of inequality of opportunity

Recent theories on distributive justice (Arneson, 1989; Cohen, 1989, Dworkin, 1981a,b; Fleurbaey, 2008; Roemer, 1998) have proposed equality of opportunity (EOp) as the proper concept of distributive justice. These contributions have been followed by a prolific economic literature, both theoretical and empirical, concerning the measurement of opportunity inequality. Measuring opportunity inequality is not an easy task. In general, outcomes (income, education) are observable, while opportunities are not. In addition to data limitation, the theory of opportunity inequality measurement is still in its infancy and different, often conflicting, approaches have been proposed. These different approaches are based on different value judgments and may generate different rankings of social states. Nevertheless, the ethical foundations of the different measures and methodologies adopted are often unclear.


The present research project has two main objectives. The first is to compare, both at a theoretical and at an empirical level, (some of) the different approaches to measuring opportunity inequality that have been suggested so far. On the theoretical side, the axiomatic approach will be used in order to undercover the normative basis of the different methods and the existence of possible tensions between them. On the empirical side, the problem is that of analyzing the differences between the social rankings generated by different approaches. The second objective is to investigate some specific aspects related to the measurement of opportunity inequality.