Singh, Ashish (2010). "Does Individual’s Achievement Depend on Capability, Effort or Family Background? New Evidence on Inequality of Opportunity in India" Paper presented at the 7th annual conference of the HDCA, 21-23 September 2010, Amman, Jordan.

What part of an individual’s achievement is due to unequal circumstances, rather than due to differences in individual capabilities, efforts or luck? Drawing on the distinction between ‘circumstance’ and ‘effort’ variables in the recent work on equality of opportunity, inequality of opportunities is associated with outcome differences that can be accounted to morally irrelevant pre-determined circumstances which lie beyond the control of an individual, such as parental education, parental occupation, caste, religion, place of birth etc. This paper estimates the opportunity share of inequality in per capita household earnings as well as per capita household consumption expenditure for India, for different age based cohorts for the year 2004-05. The results indicate that a significant part of earnings inequality can be attributed to difference in circumstances rather than individual capabilities or efforts and call for compensation (in terms of redistributive policies) to those who suffer from inferior circumstances beyond their control.