Event Details

Thursday, 04 February 2016
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Room 201, Level 2, Cycad Building (1018)
University of Queensland Long Pocket Precinct, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly (take the 12 noon shuttle bus at Chancellors Place)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Dr Wojtek Tomaszewski
+61 7 3346 9305
Org. Unit:
Institute for Social Science Research

Event Description

Full Description:
Presenter: Paolo Brunori, Assistant Professor of Economics at University of Bari.

Inequality of opportunity is a growing topic in economics. In recent years the number of empirical contributions to this literature exploded and the increasing quality and availability of survey data will probably encourage further empirical research in the future.

Not surprisingly journalís articles and volume chapters have recently reviewed the main approaches to measure inequality of opportunity. However equality of opportunity is a term used vaguely in the public discourse and is it unclear whether the way scholars measure inequality of opportunity correspond to how people perceive it.

In my talk I will first clarify how scholars define and measure inequality of opportunity and I will discuss the possible mechanisms linking objective measures to subjective perception of the phenomenon. I will then propose an empirical analysis based on data about 22 European countries. My estimates suggest that the prevailing perception of the degree of unequal opportunity in a large sample of respondents is only weakly correlated with its objective measure.

Using a multilevel model considering both individual and country level controls to explain individual perception of unequal opportunity I suggest that one of the most adopted measures of inequality of opportunity has no significant role in explaining its perception. Conversely, other country level variables and personal experiences of intergenerational social mobility are important determinants of how inequality of opportunity is perceived.

Paolo Brunori is Assistant Professor of Economics at University of Bari. He teaches Econometrics at University of Bari and Economic Development at the New York University Global Academic Center of Florence. He previously held a position as research assistant at the European University Institute. He holds a MA in Political Science (University of Florence) and a PhD in Economics (University of Bari). His research interests are in the fields of distributional analysis and economics of education.

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