Equal opportunity

Navigation menu


Manufacturing cost is divided into three broad categories:. In India , the Indian Institutes of Technology found that to achieve substantive equality of opportunity the school had to reserve For instance, job interviews should only discriminate against applicants for job incompetence. The Price of Inequality: Retrieved from " https: Grade-cutoff university admission is formally fair, but if in practice it overwhelmingly picks women and graduates of expensive user-fee schools, it is substantively unfair to men and the poor. Acceptance of inequality rests on assumptions that 'free markets' make us all richer in the end.


People with differing political viewpoints often view the concept differently. It is being applied to increasingly wider areas beyond employment, [9] [13] including lending, [14] housing, college admissions, voting rights and elsewhere. Generally, the terms "equality of opportunity" and "equal opportunity" are interchangeable, with occasional slight variations; the former has more of a sense of being an abstract political concept while "equal opportunity" is sometimes used as an adjective, usually in the context of employment regulations, to identify an employer, a hiring approach, or law.

Equal opportunity provisions have been written into regulations and have been debated in courtrooms. The coming President of France is the grandson of a shoemaker. The actual President is a peasant's son. His predecessor again began life in a humble way in the shipping business. There is surely equality of opportunity under the new order in the old nation. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , the concept assumes that society is stratified with a diverse range of roles, some of which are more desirable than others.

The scope of equal opportunity has expanded to cover more than issues regarding the rights of minority groups, but covers practices regarding "recruitment, hiring, training, layoffs, discharge, recall, promotions, responsibility, wages, sick leave, vacation, overtime, insurance, retirement, pensions, and various other benefits".

The concept has been applied to numerous aspects of public life, including accessibility of polling stations, [24] care provided to HIV patients, [25] whether men and women have equal opportunities to travel on a spaceship, [26] bilingual education , [27] skin color of models in Brazil , [28] television time for political candidates, [29] army promotions, [30] admittance to universities [31] and ethnicity in the United States. Equal opportunity emphasizes the personal ambition and talent and abilities of the individual, rather than his or her qualities based on membership in a group, such as a social class or race or extended family.

There are different concepts lumped under equality of opportunity. Formal equality of opportunity is a lack of unfair direct discrimination. It requires that deliberate discrimination be relevant and meritocratic. For instance, job interviews should only discriminate against applicants for job incompetence.

Universities should not accept a less-capable applicant instead of a more-capable applicant who can't pay tuition. Substantive equality of opportunity is absence of indirect discrimination. It requires that society be fair and meritocratic. For instance, a person should not be more likely to die at work because they were born in a country with corrupt labor law enforcement.

No one should have to drop out of school because their family needs of a full-time carer or wage earner. Formal equality of opportunity does not imply substantive equality of opportunity. Firing any employee who gets pregnant is formally equal, but substantively it hurts women more. Substantive inequality is often more difficult to address. A political party that formally allows anyone to join, but meets in a non-wheelchair-accessible building far from public transit, substantively discriminates against both young and old members as they are less likely to be able-bodied car-owners.

However, if the party raises membership dues in order to afford a better building, it discourages poor members instead. Grade-cutoff university admission is formally fair, but if in practice it overwhelmingly picks women and graduates of expensive user-fee schools, it is substantively unfair to men and the poor.

The unfairness has already taken place and the university can choose to try to counterbalance it, but it likely can not single-handedly make pre-university opportunities equal. Social mobility and the Great Gatsby curve are often used as an indicator of substantive equality of opportunity. Both equality concepts say that it is unfair and inefficient if extraneous factors rule people's lives.

Both accept as fair inequality based on relevant, meritocratic factors. They differ in the scope of the methods used to promote them. Formal equality of opportunity [2] is sometimes referred to as the nondiscrimination principle [36] or described as the absence of direct discrimination, [2] or described in the narrow sense as equality of access. The formal approach is seen as a somewhat basic "no frills" or "narrow" [5] approach to equality of opportunity, a minimal standard of sorts, limited to the public sphere as opposed to private areas such as the family , marriage , or religion.

There should be an equal opportunity for all. Each and every person should have as great or as small an opportunity as the next one. There should not be the unfair, unequal, superior opportunity of one individual over another. This sense was also expressed by economists Milton and Rose Friedman in their book Free to Choose. A somewhat different view was expressed by John Roemer , who used the term nondiscrimination principle to mean that "all individuals who possess the attributes relevant for the performance of the duties of the position in question be included in the pool of eligible candidates, and that an individual's possible occupancy of the position be judged only with respect to those relevant attributes".

The ideal of a society in which people do not suffer disadvantage from discrimination on grounds of supposed race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation is widely upheld as desirable in itself. It is a relatively straightforward task for legislators to ban blatant efforts to favor one group over another and encourage equality of opportunity as a result.

Japan banned gender-specific job descriptions in advertising as well as sexual discrimination in employment as well as other practices deemed unfair, [42] although a subsequent report suggested that the law was having minimal effect in securing Japanese women high positions in management. If higher inequality makes intergenerational mobility more difficult, it is likely because opportunities for economic advancement are more unequally distributed among children.

Substantive equality of opportunity, sometimes called fair equality of opportunity, [19] is a somewhat broader [5] and more expansive concept than the more limiting formal equality of opportunity and it deals with what is sometimes described as indirect discrimination. The substantive model is advocated by people who see limitations in the formal model:. Therein lies the problem with the idea of equal opportunity for all.

Some people are simply better placed to take advantage of opportunity. In the substantive approach, the starting point before the race begins is unfair since people have had differing experiences before even approaching the competition. The substantive approach examines the applicants themselves before applying for a position and judges whether they have equal abilities or talents; and if not, then it suggests that authorities usually the government take steps to make applicants more equal before they get to the point where they compete for a position and fixing the before-the-starting-point issues has sometimes been described as working towards "fair access to qualifications".

According to John Hills, children of wealthy and well-connected parents usually have a decisive advantage over other types of children and he notes that "advantage and disadvantage reinforce themselves over the life cycle, and often on to the next generation" so that successful parents pass along their wealth and education to succeeding generations, making it difficult for others to climb up a social ladder.

At that point, the "final selection for posts must be made according to the principle the best person for the job", that is, a less qualified applicant should not be chosen over a more qualified applicant. This variant of the substantive model has sometimes been called luck egalitarianism.

We can accept the outcome of a competitive process as fair only when the participants have equality in basic capabilities; the fact that no one is allowed to have a head start does not make the race fair if some contestants have only one leg. In a sense, substantive equality of opportunity moves the "starting point" further back in time.

Sometimes it entails the use of affirmative action policies to help all contenders become equal before they get to the starting point, perhaps with greater training, or sometimes redistributing resources via restitution or taxation to make the contenders more equal.

It holds that all who have a "genuine opportunity to become qualified" be given a chance to do so and it is sometimes based on a recognition that unfairness exists, hindering social mobility , combined with a sense that the unfairness should not exist or should be lessened in some manner.

The substantive approach tends to have a broader definition of extraneous circumstances which should be kept out of a hiring decision. One editorial writer suggested that among the many types of extraneous circumstances which should be kept out of hiring decisions was personal beauty, sometimes termed " lookism ":. Lookism judges individuals by their physical allure rather than abilities or merit. This naturally works to the advantage of people perceived to rank higher in the looks department.

They get preferential treatment at the cost of others. Which fair, democratic system can justify this? If anything, lookism is as insidious as any other form of bias based on caste, creed, gender and race that society buys into. It goes against the principle of equality of opportunity. The substantive position was advocated by Bhikhu Parekh in in Rethinking Multiculturalism , in which he wrote that "all citizens should enjoy equal opportunities to acquire the capacities and skills needed to function in society and to pursue their self-chosen goals equally effectively" and that "equalising measures are justified on grounds of justice as well as social integration and harmony".

Affirmative action programs usually fall under the substantive category. The programs involve government action, sometimes with resources being transferred from an advantaged group to a disadvantaged one and these programs have been justified on the grounds that imposing quotas counterbalances the past discrimination [3] as well as being a "compelling state interest" in diversity in society.

In India , the Indian Institutes of Technology found that to achieve substantive equality of opportunity the school had to reserve Philosopher John Rawls offered this variant of substantive equality of opportunity and explained that it happens when individuals with the same "native talent and the same ambition" have the same prospects of success in competitions. Does it demand that, however unequal their abilities, people should be equally empowered to achieve their goals?

This would imply that the unmusical individual who wants to be a concert pianist should receive more training than the child prodigy. Some theorists have posed a level playing field conception of equality of opportunity, [3] [19] similar in many respects to the substantive principle although it has been used in different contexts to describe formal equality of opportunity [9] and it is a core idea regarding the subject of distributive justice espoused by John Roemer [36] [62] [63] and Ronald Dworkin [64] [65] and others.

Like the substantive notion, the level playing field conception goes farther than the usual formal approach. According to Roemer, society should "do what it can to level the playing field so that all those with relevant potential will eventually be admissible to pools of candidates competing for positions".

There is some overlap among these different conceptions with the term meritocracy which describes an administrative system which rewards such factors as individual intelligence , credentials , education , morality , knowledge or other criteria believed to confer merit. Equality of opportunity is often seen as a major aspect of a meritocracy. There is general agreement that equality of opportunity is good for society, although there are diverse views about how it is good since it is a value judgement.

There is general agreement that programs to bring about certain types of equality of opportunity can be difficult and that efforts to cause one result often have unintended consequences or cause other problems. There is agreement that the formal approach is easier to implement than the others, although there are difficulties there too.

A government policy that requires equal treatment can pose problems for lawmakers. A requirement for government to provide equal health care services for all citizens can be prohibitively expensive.

If government seeks equality of opportunity for citizens to get health care by rationing services using a maximization model to try to save money, new difficulties might emerge. For example, trying to ration health care by maximizing the "quality-adjusted years of life" might steer monies away from disabled persons even though they may be more deserving, according to one analysis.

Age discrimination can present vexing challenges for policymakers trying to implement equal opportunity. Efforts to achieve equal opportunity along one dimension can exacerbate unfairness in other dimensions.

For example, take public bathrooms: By creating men's and women's rooms of the same size, society guarantees that individual women will be worse off then individual men. Another difficulty is that it is hard for a society to bring substantive equality of opportunity to every type of position or industry.

If a nation focuses efforts on some industries or positions, then people with other talents may be left out. For example, in an example in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , a warrior society might provide equal opportunity for all kinds of people to achieve military success through fair competition, but people with non-military skills such as farming may be left out. Lawmakers have run into problems trying to implement equality of opportunity.

In in Britain , a legal requirement "forcing public bodies to try to reduce inequalities caused by class disadvantage" was scrapped after much debate and replaced by a hope that organizations would try to focus more on "fairness" than "equality" as fairness is generally seen as a much vaguer concept than equality, [80] but easier for politicians to manage if they are seeking to avoid fractious debate.

In New York City , mayor Ed Koch tried to find ways to maintain the "principle of equal treatment" while arguing against more substantive and abrupt transfer payments called minority set-asides.

Many countries have specific bodies tasked with looking at equality of opportunity issues. In the United States, for example, it is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ; [16] [82] in Britain , there is the Equality of Opportunity Committee [24] as well as the Equality and Human Rights Commission; [38] in Canada , the Royal Commission on the Status of Women has "equal opportunity as its precept"; [83] and in China , the Equal Opportunities Commission handles matters regarding ethnic prejudice.

I am not asking for sympathy but for an equal right with men to earn my own living in the best way open and under the most favorable conditions that I could choose for myself. The consensus view is that trying to measure equality of opportunity is difficult [70] whether examining a single hiring decision or looking at groups over time.

It is difficult to prove unequal treatment although statistical analysis can provide indications of problems, but it is subject to conflicts over interpretation and methodological issues. For example, a study in by the University of Washington examined its own treatment of women. It might be used in an analysis of how many women applied for the position of full professor compared to how many women attained this position.

For reasons such as these, there is considerable difficulty with most forms of statistical interpretation. Statistical analysis of equal opportunity has been done using sophisticated examinations of computer databases.

An analysis in by University of Chicago researcher Stefano Allesina examined 61, names of Italian professors by looking at the "frequency of last names", doing one million random drawings and he suggested that Italian academia was characterized by violations of equal opportunity practices as a result of these investigations.

There is support for the view that often equality of opportunity is measured by the criteria of equality of outcome , [94] although with difficulty. In one example, an analysis of relative equality of opportunity was done based on outcomes, such as a case to see whether hiring decisions were fair regarding men versus women—the analysis was done using statistics based on average salaries for different groups.

In college admissions, equality of outcome can be measured directly by comparing offers of admission given to different groups of applicants: Equal opportunity has been described as a fundamental basic notion in business and commerce and described by economist Adam Smith as a basic economic precept.

A report in USA Today suggested that the goal of equal opportunity was "being achieved throughout most of the business and government labor markets because major employers pay based on potential and actual productivity". Fair opportunity practices include measures taken by an organization to ensure fairness in the employment process. A basic definition of equality is the idea of equal treatment and respect. In job advertisements and descriptions, the fact that the employer is an equal opportunity employer is sometimes indicated by the abbreviations EOE or MFDV, which stands for Minority, Female, Disabled, Veteran.

Analyst Ross Douthat in The New York Times suggested that equality of opportunity depends on a rising economy which brings new chances for upward mobility and he suggested that greater equality of opportunity is more easily achieved during "times of plenty". According to professor David Christian of Macquarie University, an underlying Big History trend has been a shift from seeing people as resources to exploit towards a perspective of seeing people as individuals to empower.

According to Christian, in many ancient agrarian civilizations, roughly nine of every ten persons was a peasant exploited by a ruling class. In the past thousand years, there has been a gradual movement in the direction of greater respect for equal opportunity as political structures based on generational hierarchies and feudalism broke down during the late Middle Ages and new structures emerged during the Renaissance.

Monarchies were replaced by democracies: Slavery was also abolished generally. Note that external costs are often both non-monetary and problematic to quantify for comparison with monetary values. They include things like pollution, things that society will likely have to pay for in some way or at some time in the future, but that are not included in transaction prices.

Social costs are the sum of private costs and external costs. For example, the manufacturing cost of a car i. The polluted waters or polluted air also created as part of the process of producing the car is an external cost borne by those who are affected by the pollution or who value unpolluted air or water.

Because the manufacturer does not pay for this external cost the cost of emitting undesirable waste into the commons , and does not include this cost in the price of the car a Kaldor-Hicks compensation , they are said to be external to the market pricing mechanism.

The air pollution from driving the car is also an externality produced by the car user in the process of using his good. The driver does not compensate for the environmental damage caused by using the car. This is done in both business and government. Costs are often underestimated, resulting in cost overrun during execution. Cost-plus pricing , is where the price equals cost plus a percentage of overhead or profit margin.

Manufacturing costs are those costs that are directly involved in manufacturing of products. Examples of manufacturing costs include raw materials costs and charges related to workers.

Manufacturing cost is divided into three broad categories:. Non-manufacturing costs are those costs that are not directly incurred in manufacturing a product.

Examples of such costs are salary of sales personnel and advertising expenses. Generally non-manufacturing costs are further classified into two categories:. A defensive cost is an environmental expenditure to eliminate or prevent environmental damage. Defensive costs form part of the genuine progress indicator GPI calculations. Path cost is a term in networking to define the worthiness of a path, see Routing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Cost disambiguation.

Financial Internal Firms Report. Accountants Accounting organizations Luca Pacioli. Externality and social cost. Cost estimation , Cost overrun , and parametric estimating.


Leave a Reply