Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Quantifying Changes in Economic and Social Justice: The US 1960-2000
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://people.stfx.ca/tleo/research/TransMech_v4.pdf
The notion of Equality of Opportunity (EO) has pervaded much of economic and social
justice policy and research over the last half century. The sense that differences in agent
outcomes that are the consequence of their individual choice and effort are acceptable,
whereas variation in agent outcomes that are the consequence of circumstances beyond
their control are not has underpinned much gender, race, education and family law and
policy over that period, making it a many dimensioned issue. Here a new approach
to evaluating levels of and changes in EO which readily accommodates these many
dimensions is introduced and progress in the extent of equality of opportunity in the
United States is studied over the period 1960-2000. The evidence is that gains were
made in all categories throughout the period, more so for boys than girls (though girls
were better off in an EO sense to start with), more so for children in single parent
circumstances, and more so for the poorly endowed.

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