JRC B2 Seminar: "Trends in Inequality of Opportunity in health over the life cycle: the role of early-life conditions" - Matija Kovacic


This paper explores the evolution of inequality of opportunity in the prevalence of chronic diseases along the life cycle and across different birth cohorts for individuals aged 50 or older and residing in 13 European countries. We adopt an ex-ante parametric approach and rely on the dissimilarity index as our reference inequality metric. In addition to a commonly used set of circumstances, we pay particular attention to the role of adverse early-life conditions, such as the experience of harm and the quality of the relationship with parents. In order to quantify the relative importance of each circumstance, we apply the Shapley inequality decomposition method. Our results suggest that inequality of opportunity in health is not stable over the life cycle - it is generally lower at younger ages and then monotonically increases. Moreover, it varies between different birth cohorts and is generally higher for younger individuals than for older age groups. Finally, the contribution of adverse early life conditions ranges between 25% and 45%, which is comparable to the share of socio-economic circumstances but significantly higher than the relative contribution of other demographic characteristics, especially at younger ages.


Matija Kovacic is a researcher in the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (Ispra). He is also affiliated with the Department of Economics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice as a subject expert in Empirical Economics and Microeconomics. Before that, he was a post-doc researcher at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the "Marco Fanno" Department of Economics, University of Padua. His research interests include the analysis of individual attitudes and choices; inequality; and health economics.


JRC B2 Seminar: Inequality and Growth: How Social Mobility Reshapes The Main Theoretical Channels - Ignacio Campomanes


This paper analyzes how the different mechanisms proposed to explain the inequality-growth relation are affected by the introduction of social mobility in a politico-economic environment with imperfect tax enforcement. I show that the direct negative effect of inequality on growth predicted by models of incomplete markets is especially pronounced in societies with low social mobility, while it is lessened in highly mobile economies. This is due the different effects of the increase in inequality on redistribution in each case. Conversely, in models where inequality favors economic growth because of investment indivisibilities or heterogeneity in marginal propensities to save among the population, the opposite result applies. Inequality is especially beneficial for economic growth when social mobility is low, as the compensating effect of redistribution is reduced. Finally, exogenous taxation costs modulate the previous findings depending on whether redistribution helps or retards economic growth. Conditional correlations of market inequality and economic growth across countries point to an important modulating effect of social mobility.

JRC B2 Seminar. Exploring policy interventions for a just low-carbon transition: A scenario discovery approach - Nicola Campigotto

There is currently no consensus among scholars on how to achieve a just low-carbon transition. This paper subjects a macrosimulation model to an extensive sensitivity analysis, and trains random forests on the simulation results to identify which policy combinations are most effective in reducing carbon emissions while improving the distribution of income. The results suggest a trade-off between inequality and emissions, which limits the extent to which inequality can be addressed through the growth of bottom incomes alone, and indicate that environmental and distributive goals can be met jointly only through a variety of coherent policies in different domains.