A Dissimilarity Index of Multidimensional Inequality of Opportunity (Revised and Updated)

A recent literature on inequality of opportunity o¤ers quantitative tools for comparisons and measurement based on stochastic dominance criteria and traditional inequality indices. In this paper I suggest an additional way of assessing inequality of opportunity with two indices of dissimilarity across distributions. The indices are based on a traditional homogeneity test of multinomial distributions and are similar to the square coe¢ cient of variation (Reardon and Firebaugh, 2002). Their properties are studied, as well as their usefulness and limitations in applications when both circumstances and advantages/outcomes are multidimensional. An empirical application measures changes in inequality of opportunity from an old to a young cohort in Peru. The importance of assessing the sensitivity of the results to group defnitions and group proportions is highlighted.

Citation: Yalonetzky, G. (2010). “A Dissimilarity Index of Multidimensional Inequality of Opportunity (revised and updated).” OPHI Working Papers 39, University of Oxford.

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