Equality of Opportunity Conference

Main Content

Duke’s Center for Law, Economics, and Public Policy will be hosting a conference on  “Equality of Opportunity.”

May 24-25, 2016
Duke Law School
Room 4047

The conference will run from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday May 24, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday May 25.   The conference schedule, with session times and paper titles, is posted here.

The topic of the conference is how to adjust criteria of distributive justice, and associated measures of inequality and social welfare, to take account of individual desert and responsibility.  This topic—often referred to by philosophers as the problem of “luck egalitarianism”—has for several decades been central to the philosophical literature on distributive justice, beginning with pioneering articles by Ronald Dworkin, Richard Arneson, and Jerry Cohen.

It is also the focus of a burgeoning body of work by economists (who tend to use the term “equality of opportunity”), most famously John Roemer, but many others as well.  

The aim of the conference is to present new scholarship on equality of opportunity/luck egalitarianism, and to generate a vigorous, interdisciplinary conversation among the participants and audience.  Conference participants (presenters and discussants) include leading researchers from both economics and philosophy.    A current participant list may be found here.

The conference is being organized by Matthew Adler (Duke Law School), Francisco Ferreira (World Bank), and Vito Peragine (University of Bari).

Duke faculty, graduate or professional students, or staff are welcome to register, as are those with an academic affiliation elsewhere.

For administrative questions, please contact Victoria Zellefrow at  For questions about the content of the conference, please contact Matthew Adler at







There will be parking for the conference in the Science Drive Visitor Lot across the street from the Fuqua School of Business (next door to the Law School) on Science Drive, between NC 751 and Whitford Drive. Additional parking will be available in Parking Garage 4.  Additional parking information can be found here.



Victoria Zellefrow
(919) 613-8545