SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 issue87Economic conditions and birth spacing in Colombia: a semi-parametric approachInequality of opportunity in the public education system of Bogota, Colombia author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Lecturas de Economía

Print version ISSN 0120-2596


RIVERA, Felipe. Health opportunities in Colombia. Lect. Econ. [online]. 2017, n.87, pp.125-164. ISSN 0120-2596.

According to the theory of equality of opportunity, inequality in final outcomes (e.g., monetary income) is mainly caused by two broad characteristics: circumstances and individual effort. Individuals have no control on the former but on the latter. Inequalities in final outcomes caused by circumstances are considered unfair, while those generated by effort are not. In this paper, we calculate the level of unjust inequality in health in Colombia. A preliminary conclusion is that Colombia presents evidence of inequality of opportunities in health, which explains between 30% and 40% of total inequality in self-reported health status. Considering only observable circumstances, mother’s health, household structure through childhood, and gender are individual characteristics that have considerable influence on this type of inequality.

Keywords : health; equality of opportunity; circumstances; individual effort; Colombia.

        · abstract in Spanish | French     · text in English     · English ( pdf )