Unfair inequalities in France: A regional comparison


  • Carpantier Jean-François
  • Sapata Christelle


  • Inequality of opportunity
  • Fairness
  • Regional inequalities

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This paper proposes a regional comparison of ex-post inequality of opportunity in France by measuring, within each region, the inequality between individuals exerting the same effort. According to the concept of equality of opportunity, inequalities due to factors for which the individual is not responsible are unfair and should be removed but inequalities due to factors for which the individual can be held responsible (effort) are fair and should be preserved. Therefore, our analysis defends a responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism whose aim is to show whether (1) regions reward equally effort, (2) inequality of opportunity is equally distributed among regions and (3) it is correlated with income inequality. In this paper, we use a direct measure of effort to measure ex-post inequality of opportunity across regions in France. To this end, we define a fair income that fulfills ex-post equality of opportunity requirements. Unfairness is measured by an unfair Gini based on the distance between the actual income and the fair income. Our findings reveal that regions display differences in the magnitude of ex- post inequality of opportunity and this is due to differences in reward schemes and differences in the impact of the non responsibility factors of income. As a consequence, this papers motivates decentralized policies to solve the problem of unequal opportunities in France. Finally, the positive correlation between income inequality and inequality of opportunity confirms previous results given in the literature.

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