Equal opportunity theory is based on the idea that inequality of individual achievements is a complex phenomenon. It is formed by two groups of factors: (1) one's own decisions and efforts (inequality of efforts) and (2) circumstances beyond one's control (inequality of opportunities). Therefore, wealth inequality caused by effort factors (1) is fair and is not to be compensated for, whereas differences in welfare caused by objective circumstances (2) are unfair and should be compensable (the compensation principle). This paper introduces an assessment of circumstances associated with family background: composition, psychological atmosphere, well-being, occupation, education, etc. Parents' education and two-parent status appeared to be the most important circumstances. Respondents who grew up in a two-parent family with both biological parents had a higher income than those who grew up in one-parent families or with one biological and one stepparent. The low economic status of the parental family also proved to affect the well-being of grown-up children. Thus, efforts to provide equal opportunities can have a long-term effect on social inequality and build a more just society.
factors-efforts, factors-circumstances, compensation principle, family background, family policy, regression, social survey
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