Title

Economic Development as Opportunity Equalization

Authors

John E. Roemer

Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Date

9-1-2006

CFDP Number

1583

CFDP Pages

25

Abstract

The justification of using GNP per capita as a measure of economic development is utilitarian ethics plus an assumption that no needs are more urgent than others. Here, we advocate a measure of economic development based on the degree to which the society in question has equalized opportunities for the acquisition of income. In highly developed economies, inequality of opportunity accounts for less than 10% of total inequality, while in developing economies, it accounts for over 30%.

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