Inequalities of opportunity and social mobility

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines social welfare in relation to the index of inequalities in well-being. More specifically, it considers how the classical decomposition of social welfare into average well-being and inequalities can be adapted to the social orderings that incorporate a concern for personal responsibility and for opportunities. It shows that an index of inequality of opportunity can be constructed in a similar way as one does for indexes of inequalities in well-being or income. The chapter first describes inequality indices before turning to the connection between social welfare, equality of opportunity, and social mobility. It then compares opportunity dominance with compensation and concludes by analysing the partial-circumstance problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFairness, Responsibility, and Welfare
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191808579
ISBN (Print)9780199215911
StatePublished - Apr 30 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


  • Compensation
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Inequality of opportunity
  • Opportunity dominance
  • Partial-circumstance problem
  • Responsibility
  • Social mobility
  • Social orderings
  • Social welfare
  • Well-being


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