Economic Research Forum and Alternative Policy Solutions organized a discussion under the title of “Equality of Opportunity: A Way Towards Greater Social Justice” on Tuesday, March 20. The discussion hosted Dr. John E. Roemer, the Elizabeth S. & A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science & Economics at Yale University. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Ragui Assaad, Distinguished Visiting Professor of economics at The American University in Cairo.
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Photo by Alternative Policy Solutions
6:00-6:15 Registration and coffee
6:15- 7:15 Dialogue covering the following themes:
- What is inequality of opportunity, and how does it differ from inequality of outcome?
- How to measure inequality of opportunity and why it is important.
- According to available data, inequality of opportunity has been decreasing in Egypt over the past few decades, contrary to public perception. What are the possible explanations and the meaning of the inconsistency between data and perception?
- What drives inequality of opportunity, and what are some of the ways it can be addressed?
7:15-7:45 Discussion with the audience
7:45- 8:15 Refreshments are served
About the Speakers
Dr. John Roemer
John E. Roemer is the Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science and Economics at Yale University. His work concerns the intersection of political economy, political philosophy and economic theory. Current interests include constructing micro-foundations for human cooperation, a topic that has been unjustly ignored by economic theory, despite its extreme importance in explaining the success of the human species (How we cooperate: A Kantian explanation, in press).
He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, a past Russell Sage and Guggenheim Fellow, and holds doctorates honoris causa from the University of Athens and Queen Mary University of London. He is a past president of Society for Social Choice & Welfare.
Book titles include: A general theory of exploitation and class (1982), A future for socialism (1994), Theories of distributive justice (1996), Political Competition (2001); Racism, Xenophobia and Distribution (2007) and Sustainability for a warming planet (2015).
Dr. Ragui Assaad
Ragui Assaad is a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Economics at the American University in Cairo for the 2017-2018 academic year. He is a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, a top 10 public affairs school in the United States where he chairs the Global Policy area and co-chairs the Master of Development Practice program.
Dr. Assaad has been a Research Fellow of the Economic Research Forum (ERF) in Cairo since 1994, and currently serves as its thematic leader for Labor and Human Resource Development and as a member of its board of trustees. He is also a member of the board of advisors of Alternative Policy Solutions, a public policy research project at The American University in Cairo. He is a research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany.
His current research focuses on inequality of opportunity in education, international migration and unemployment dynamics. His notable track record firmly places him as one of the leading scholars across the globe in the fields of labor markets and human resource development in the MENA region. At Humphry School, he has received the “Teacher of the Year” award a staggering five times.
About the Organizers
Economic Research Forum (ERF)
The Economic Research Forum (ERF) is a regional network dedicated to promoting high quality economic research to contribute to sustainable development in the Arab countries, Iran and Turkey. Established in 1993, ERF’s core objectives are to build strong research capacity in the ERF region; to lead and support the production of independent, high quality economic research; and to disseminate research output to a wide and diverse audience.
Alternative Policy Solutions (APS)
Alternative Policy Solutions is a non-partisan, public policy research project at the American University in Cairo. Using rigorous, in-depth research, and a participatory process of consultations with a diverse range of stakeholders, we propose evidence-based policy solutions to some of the most difficult challenges facing Egypt. Our solutions are innovative, forward-looking and designed to support decision makers’ efforts to introduce inclusive public policies.