A Decomposable Index of Multidimensional Inequality of Opportunity

32 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2021

Date Written: July 1, 2021


This paper proposes a measure of multidimensional inequality of opportunity - the Kullback Leibler divergence index, based on the opportunity equality definition of Roemer (1993, 1998, 2016). We prove theoretically and numerically that this measure satisfies a larger set of properties mainly the additive decomposability by dimensions. We show that the Kullback Leibler divergence index for multiple dimensions can be decomposed into Kullback Leibler divergence index for each of these dimensions along with a measure of association which is interpreted as the mutual information Sugiyama et al. (2013). We provide an empirical application of our proposed method using the Indian Demographic and Health Survey 2015/16 data for adult males.

Keywords: inequality of opportunity, additive decomposability, multidimensional, kullback-liebler

JEL Classification: D0, I3, J1, O2

Suggested Citation

Javadekar, Sayli and Krishnakumar, Jaya, A Decomposable Index of Multidimensional Inequality of Opportunity (July 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3885082 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3885082

Sayli Javadekar (Contact Author)

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

Jaya Krishnakumar

University of Geneva ( email )

40 Bd. du Pont d'Arve
Genève 4, CH - 1211

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