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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Global inequality of opportunity: How much of our income is determined at birth?
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
URL http://osc.sciences-po.fr/formation/Milanovic.pdf
Abstract
Suppose that all people in the world are allocated only two characteristics over which they have no control: country of citizenship and income class, within that country, of their parents. Assume further that there is no migration. We show that at least 80 percent of variability in income of almost 6 billion people in the world is explained solely by these two characteristics. Thus, globally-speaking, the role of effort or luck in improving one’s income position, cannot be large. On average, “drawing” one-notch higher parental income class (on a twenty-class scale) is equivalent to living in eleven-percent richer country.

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