EUniWell Open Lecture Series: Equality, responsibility and welfare


University of Florence Online EUniWell-Event

As part of the EUniWell Open Lecture Series, Prof. Paolo Brunori will be speaking on the topic “Equality, responsibility and welfare” on Thursday 13 April 2023 at 15:00 CEST / 14:00 BST.

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Lecturers: Prof. Paolo Brunori
Related EUniWell Arena: 2) Individual and Social Well-Being


About this lecture:

Not all inequalities are equally harmful to social welfare. The majority of the authors in moral philosophy and normative economics are convinced that while inequalities due to circumstances beyond individual control are unfair and limit a society’s ability to prosper; inequalities arising as a result of individual choices, on the contrary, are to a less extent problematic and do not call for redistribution. Scholars often refer to this idea as the “equality of opportunity principle”. In this lecture we will discuss to what extent different societies have been able to realise this idea. Since the seminal contributions by John Roemer and Marc Fleurbaey, a number of authors have attempted to quantify the level of inequality of opportunity in different welfare domains. This empirical project turns out to be rather complex in practice. For this reason, we will first discuss how the theoretical principle can be translated into a measure of inequality of opportunity, we will introduce the tools used for the estimation of the phenomenon and we will overview the emerging findings about inequality of opportunity around the globe.

About the lecturer:

Paolo Brunori is Associate Professor of Public Economics at the University of Florence and Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on inequalities, in particular, the type of inequality that people tend to perceive as unfair. In the last decade, Paolo has done his best to try to answer an apparently simple question: Can we measure inequality of opportunity? There are many theoretical and empirical challenges to find an answer and his research is still in progress.

Paolo received his PhD in Economics from the University of Bari in 2008, and before that, he graduated in Political Science from the Cesare Alfieri School at the University of Florence. Paolo was a research assistant at the European University Institute in 2009 and became assistant professor in economics at the University of Bari in 2011. He lectured at the University of Florence and the New York University Global Programme between 2017 and 2021.

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This lecture is part of the EUniWell Open Lecture Series. Find the full programme here.