Opportunities aren't equally distributed. Some people have access to more and better opportunities than others.

What is Inequality of Opportunity?

Inequality of opportunity (IOp) is the share of overall inequality that can be predicted by pre-determined, typically inherited circumstances, such as family background, race / ethnicity, caste, biological sex, and place of birth.

Based on these personal characteristics, different statistical methods can divide the population of a country into subgroups that share common circumstances, and compare their income distributions. While an ‘ex-ante’ approach compares averages across these groups, an ‘ex-post’ alternative accounts for differences at every point in the distribution. Headline measures of inequality of opportunity summarize these differences.

What is Equality of Opportunity?

What is Intergenerational Mobility?

Equalizing opportunities requires increasing social mobility across generations, and measures of intergenerational mobility (IGM) are closely related to our measures of IOp. Like IOp, IGM estimates come in many shapes and sizes, including regression coefficients, elasticities, correlation coefficients etc., and each of those either for levels or ranks.

We hope that future versions of GEOM will also include measures of intergenerational mobility, to be drawn from existing research. Watch this space.

Why Inequality of Opportunity matters?

Glossary & Documentation

Although the basic idea of inequality of opportunity is both intuitive and powerful, measuring it requires struggling with some hard statistical problems. This inevitably creates some jargon. Although we have tried to keep it to a minimum on this site, here is a glossary to help you with any technical words that slipped through the net…