Equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcomes

Campaign season started, and it is way too long if you think about it. At any rate, the discussion of how the GOP is for equality of opportunities, not outcomes, is already in the air. Sen. Marco Rubio has already suggested that.

If we assume that social mobility is a proxy for equality of opportunity and take some measure of inequality, say a Gini, as a proxy of equality of outcomes, one might get a sense of their relation. The figure below is from the book The Spirit Level and shows the data for a few countries.
Social mobility is measured as the correlation of income between different generations. As it turns, it seems that there might be a negative relation between inequality of outcomes, which is high in the US and the UK, with equality of opportunity (social mobility), which is low in those same countries.

Note that this is a limited set of countries, and that social mobility is not exactly equality of opportunity. But this is indicative that equality of opportunity might also lead to equality of outcomes. My guess is that many GOP candidates that pay leap service to the idea of equality (of opportunity) would not like this kind of result.

PS: Graph below is more comprehensive.

Source is  available here.

Comments

  1. But this is indicative that equality of opportunity might also lead to equality of outcomes.

    YES! I've spent years trying to express in the most simple way possible what you just said in one sentence. I'm so stealing that...

    I might even make a movie: Actually, you really didn't build that. No really, you
    didn't.



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  2. "My guess is that many GOP candidates that pay leap service to the idea of equality (of opportunity) would not like this kind of result."

    Why not? I don't think the GOP is ideologically opposed to income equality, they simply do not want it to come about because of state redistribution.

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