Must-Read: Tony Atkinson: After Piketty?

Must-Read: Tony Atkinson: After Piketty? : “First we need to clarify the objectives…

…Many people think in terms of achieving equality of opportunity. It is however important to distinguish between competitive and non-competitive equality of opportunity. The latter ensures that all have an equal chance to fulfill their – independent – life projects…. Competitive equality of opportunity means only that we all have an equal chance to take place in a race – a swimming competition – where there are unequal prizes. In this, more typical, case, there are ex post unequal rewards, and it is here that inequality of outcome enters the picture. The concern that I want to address in this paper is that, even if there were competitive equality of opportunity, the reward structure is too unequal and that ex post inequality needs to be reduced. Stating the objective in terms of reducing inequality is important, since there may be agreement on the desired direction of movement, but not on the ultimate destination…

June 23, 2015

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