Is Equality of Opportunity Politically Feasible?

17 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2005


We develop a political-economy model where the amount of education subsidies is determined in a majority vote and spending is financed by revenues from taxation. Our analysis demonstrates that limiting the extent of subsidization and thus excluding the poor from gaining enough education can be a political equilibrium. Despite being the main beneficiaries of subsidies, the politically decisive middle class hesitates to extend monetary benefits, since improved access to higher education diminishes the return to education. Moreover, a non-monotone relation between inequality and the extent of redistribution through tax-financed educational subsidies obtains.

Suggested Citation

Zink, Stefan, Is Equality of Opportunity Politically Feasible?. Available at SSRN:

Stefan Zink (Contact Author)

University of Konstanz ( email )

Fach D-144
Universitätsstraße 10
Konstanz, D-78457

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