Measuring inequality of opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean
Author(s)/Editor(s) Paes de Barros R, Ferreira FHG, Molinas Vega JR et al.
Publisher/Journal: The World Bank
Publication date: 2008
Number of pages: 195
- Download Measuring inequality of opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Human Opportunity Index
"The problem is that we have never been able to systematically measure inequality of opportunity, in Latin America or anywhere else. The development community simply lacked the methodological tools to monitor equity, making it all but impossible to design, implement, and evaluate public policies that target human opportunity. While the citizens of the region feel the uneven playing field under their feet—that personal sense that one’s destiny is predetermined by circumstances over which one has no control or responsibility, such as skin color, gender, birthplace, or family wealth—their leaders have proved unable to do much about it….”
“….Between one fourth and one half of income inequality observed among Latin America and the Caribbean adults is due to personal circumstances endured during childhood that fell outside of their control or responsibility, such as race, gender, birthplace, parent’s educational level and their father’s occupation. These circumstances reveal the level of inequality of opportunity in the region."
"The new Human Opportunity Index, developed by a Group of economists from the World Bank, Argentina and Brazil, shows how personal circumstances play in gaining or preventing access to those services needed for a productive life, such as running water, sanitation, electricity or basic education among children in the region. This opens up a whole new field of study dedicated to designing public policy focused on equity."