Inequality and Personal Responsibility
Inequality of incomes versus inequality of opportunities Francisco Ferreira from the World Bank reviews a vibrant literature on the definition and measurement of inequality of opportunities bringing into the attention the concept of "personal responsibility". Are all forms of inequality equally bad? Modern views of social justice suggest that one should distinguish between income differences that result from the exercise of personal responsibility or effort, and those that arise from differences in circumstances beyond the control of individuals, such as race, gender, family background or country of birth. Inequality of opportunities allows for a more rigorous measurement of the unfairness component of inequality. He also presents different applications of the opportunity inequality model to the analysis of intergenerational mobility, poverty, and our very notion of development policy objectives.