Yalonetzky, Gaston (2009). "An heterogeneity index for the analysis of equality of opportunity and economic mobility" Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

A recent literature on inequality of opportunity offers quantitative tools for comparison and measurement based on stochastic dominance criteria and traditional inequality indices. In this paper I suggest an additional way of assessing inequality of opportunity and operationalizing Roemer’s (1998) notion of equality of opportunity with an index of heterogeneity across distributions based on a traditional homogeneity test of multinomial distributions. I propose two similar indices: one is useful for the general analysis of (in)equality of opportunity and the other is helpful to compare discrete-time transition matrices. In its application of (in)equality of opportunity the index is more helpful than other tools when both circumstances and advantages / outcomes are multidimensional. It also highlights the correspondences between heterogeneity in outcomes across set of circumstances and the degree of association between circumstances and outcomes. An application to educational mobility in Peru shows that the transition matrices of males and females are more similar among the youngest cohorts of adults.