This paper evaluates to what extent equality of opportunity for income acquisition is achieved through tax-and-redistribution systems in the case of nine European countries, plus Japan, using the 2011 PIAAC survey. For the purposes of this paper, equality of opportunity for income acquisition is realized when the effect of people’s circumstances on their income is neutralized through the tax-and-redistribution system, while the effect of choices remains untouched. Circumstances are seen as being arbitrary, so that people should not be held responsible for them, while the opposite is true for choices. Results show that continental European countries perform better than United Kingdom (UK) and Japan in terms of the degree to which equality of opportunity is achieved. Moreover, within Europe, Nordic countries outperform Southern ones when considering different labour supply elasticities.
How to Cite:
Ortan, D., 2017. Equality of opportunity and fiscal policies: Where are we? Where do we need to be?. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 5(1), pp.193–220.