01 December 2010

The Lottery of Life

Save the Children have what I think is a fantastic new ad campaign highlighting the importance of luck in determining life chances. Being born in the UK almost automatically guarantees you a position as one of the richest 15% of people on the planet (that is at the basic rate of unemployment benefit for 18 year olds, excluding additional benefits).
the policy-induced portion of the place premium in wages represents one of the largest remaining price distortions in any global market; is much larger than wage discrimination in spatially integrated markets; and makes labor mobility capable of reducing households’ poverty at the margin by much more than any known in situ intervention (Clemens, Montenegro and Pritchett).
People worry about the ethical implications of randomly allocating treatments in small research projects. Yet when people are randomly born in hopeless economies with tyrannical rulers, we do everything we can to prevent them escaping.

Spin the wheel for yourself and see where you could have ended up.

HT: @viewfromthecave @laurenist


Matt said...

Veil of ignorance!

Lee said...

Good eh?

Brendan Rigby said...

Hi Roving Bandit,

I believe you picked up this thread from our original article in response to this campaign over at whydev. Here is the link to the article, http://www.whydev.org/?p=1951. Or though we do not reference the notion of a veil of ignorance, that is perhaps one of the points we were making.

I disagree that randomness and chance have too much to do with where we are born and to who. However, we certainly are trying (particular in Australia) to prevent others from emigrating or seeking asylum.


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