Inequality of Opportunity in Wages and Consumption in Egypt

29 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2018

See all articles by Ragui Assaad

Ragui Assaad

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Caroline Krafft

St. Catherine University - Department of Economics

John E. Roemer

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Djavad Salehi‐Isfahani

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

Most explanations of the recent political upheavals in Egypt since 2011 include a reference to rising inequality, but the usual indicators of income inequality in Egypt do not support that inequality was on the rise prior to the uprisings. In this paper we provide measures of inequality of opportunity in wages and consumption for Egypt at different points in time from 1988 to 2012 that shed light on the gap between popular perceptions and measured indices of inequality. Our findings indicate that although measures of inequality of wage income have increased over time in Egypt starting in 1998, the share attributable to circumstances declined steadily throughout the whole period. We attribute this decline to the fact that outcomes for individuals from a middle class background have moved closer to the outcomes of those from a poor background. The outcomes for those from privileged backgrounds remain quite apart from the rest.

Keywords: consumption, Egypt, inequality of opportunity, wages

JEL Classification: D63, D31, E24

Suggested Citation

Assaad, Ragui and Krafft, Caroline and Roemer, John E. and Salehi‐Isfahani, Djavad, Inequality of Opportunity in Wages and Consumption in Egypt (October 2018). Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 64, pp. S26-S54, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3273048 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12289

Ragui Assaad (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Caroline Krafft

St. Catherine University - Department of Economics ( email )

St. Paul, MN 55105
United States

John E. Roemer

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5249 (Phone)
203-432-6196 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~jer39/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Djavad Salehi‐Isfahani

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

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