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Working paper 658

Gordon Abderson, Ana Manero, Henning Bjornlund, "Equal Opportunity Sensitive Aggregate Wellbeing Measures: Food Security and Basic Household Income on Sub Saharan Africa Agricultural Irrigation Scheme Developments.", 2020-02-20

Abstract: Equality of Opportunity and gender equality, key components of the UNs’ Sustainable Development Goals and inclusive growth initiatives, require wellbeing measures that reflect the extent to which such targets are being achieved. From a measurement perspective, the Equal Opportunity literature distinguishes between inequalities arising from individual choice and inequalities engendered by circumstances beyond individual control and only the latter should enter the calculus. However, common metrics of socio-economic inequality make no such distinction which confounds different inequality sources and obfuscates potential intervention pathways. Using recent intertemporal data from family farms on four Zimbabwean and Tanzanian irrigation schemes, this study introduces and exemplifies new methods for measuring multidimensional Equality of Opportunity (gender and location), within an overall wellbeing framework. Results indicate a deterioration in equality of opportunity in access to land, with an improvement in equality of opportunity in revenue generation, with the former outweighing the latter in a joint analysis.

Keywords: equality of opportunity, inequality, development, poverty, gender equality, Gini Index

JEL Classification: O15;I31