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Equality of opportunity

Author: John E Roemer
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, ©1998.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
John Roemer points out that there are two views of equality of opportunity that are widely held today. The first, which he calls the nondiscrimination principle, states that in the competition for positions in society, individuals should be judged only on attributes relevant for the performance of the duties of the position in question. Attributes such as race or sex should generally not be taken into account. The
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Details

Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John E Roemer
ISBN: 0674259912 9780674259911 0674004221 9780674004221
OCLC Number: 37464555
Description: 120 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Introduction --
2. Circumstances, Types, and Autonomous Choice --
3. Justifying the Proposal --
4. A Formal Definition of Equality of Opportunity --
5. Incentive Properties of the EOp Mechanism --
6. Equality of Opportunity with Production --
7. Equality of Opportunity for Welfare --
8. Equality of Opportunity for Health --
9. Education and Advantage --
10. Equal-Opportunity Unemployment Insurance --
11. The EOp Distribution of Educational Finance in the United States --
12. The Scope and Extent of Equal Opportunity --
13. To What Extent Should We Equalize Opportunities? --
14. Affirmative Action --
15. Concluding Remarks.
Responsibility: John E. Roemer.

Abstract:

John Roemer points out that there are two views of equality of opportunity that are widely held today. The first, which he calls the nondiscrimination principle, states that in the competition for positions in society, individuals should be judged only on attributes relevant for the performance of the duties of the position in question. Attributes such as race or sex should generally not be taken into account. The second states that society should do what it can to level the playing field among persons who compete for positions, especially during their formative years, so that all those who have the relevant potential attributes can be considered.

Common to both positions is that at some point the principle of equal opportunity holds individuals accountable for the achievement of particular objectives, whether they be education, employment, health, or income. Roemer argues that there is consequently a "before" and an "after" in the notion of equality of opportunity: before the competition starts, opportunities must be equalized, by social intervention if need be; but after it begins, individuals are on their own. The different views of equal opportunity should be judged according to where they place the starting gate that separates "before" from "after." Roemer works out the precise nature of the equal opportunity policy once the starting gate has been determined.

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