Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chris Dillow - The weak demand for equal opportunity

In other words, what people value most is having some chance - 1% versus nothing. Having greater opportunity - moving from a 20% to 50% chance isn't so valuable, in the sense that it doesn't so much affect bargaining behaviour.
This has (at least) two implications.
One is that it shows that people value procedural utility; having some chance to affect the outcome is what matters to them, rather than having a big chance.
The other is that, once some small chance exists, people don't greatly care about equalizing chances. They care more about having a small chance than about increasing their chances. These laboratory experiments confirm what we see in public opinion - that, like it or not, there is little demand for policies that would greatly equalize opportunity, such as abolishing private education or steep inheritance taxes.
Read it at Stumbling and Mumbling
By Chris Dillow

These “experiments by Eugenio Proto and colleagues at Warwick University” possess potentially telling data for public opinion and policy making related to inequality and equal opportunity.

No comments:

Post a Comment