Bootstrapping Inequality of Opportunity in Europe. Are changes significant?


  • Ana Suárez Álvarez University of Oviedo
  • Ana Jesús López Menéndez University of Oviedo


inequality, equality, justice theory, social mobility, bootstrap


The aim of this article is to shed some light on the behaviour of income

inequality and inequality of opportunity over time for 26 European

countries. The analysis is carried out using microdata collected by the

European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC),

which incorporate a wide variety of personal harmonised variables, allowing

comparability between countries. The availability of this database for the

years 2004 and 2010 is particularly relevant to assess changes over time in

the main inequality indices and the contribution of “circumstance” to

inequality of opportunity. Bootstrap methodology is used with the aim of

testing if the differences between the two years are statistically significant.

Results show that observed changes in inequality of opportunity and income

inequality are in most cases significant and also prove the robustness of the

bootstrap methods to analyse the evolution of income inequality and

inequality of opportunity.