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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Development Research Group, World Bank
Title Global inequality of opportunity
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
URL http://siteresources. worldbank. org/INTDECINEQ/Resources/Where6. pdf
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 about 80% of variability in people's global income position (percentile in world economic distribution) is explained by only these two characteristics. On average \"drawing\" one-notch higher parental income class (on a twenty-class scale) is equivalent to living in a twelve percent richer country. For a given income class, it is important not only whether the country a person is allocated to is rich or poor, but whether it is egalitarian or not. This is particularly important for the people who belong to low or high income classes; for the middle classes, country's income distribution is much less important than country's mean income.

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