My teenage friend earned a PhD in economics from less than 30 years old in the United States. He was one of the first Vietnamese people to come to America to study. From the day he passed until now, when he retired, he had a very successful career in the country. After retiring from a major international organization in Washington DC, he is still busy working as an economic adviser to the government of a Middle East country.

Recently, after returning to visit his hometown, a city in Central Vietnam, he confided "I feel so lucky". Most of the same age friends, in the same circumstances as his childhood, are still struggling every day with many jobs to make a living. "The other brother is just an opportunity to study abroad," he said. From that turning point, my life is far different from my friends.

Maybe my friend is too humble. Those who study abroad and then stay in the US to work, like me and him, also undergo personal efforts, facing the loneliness of people who are far from home, always try to not be underestimated because they are Asian immigrants.

But I thought about my old high school friends from Amsterdam school in Hanoi. Up to a third are currently residing abroad.

College classmates are mostly staying in Hanoi to build careers, very few return to their hometown. We all have in common is that we want to live where we have the most opportunities. But there are still people in the countryside, doing small businesses, farming or working as hired labor, of course they choose their opportunities. I used to ask why one person stays in their home country, they say that because the city is so hard to live, because they don't know it, don't have the capital, don't know how to buy a house ... This, actually, is very different from the other's difficulty.

Vietnam's economy has continuously grown in the past few decades. Inequality measures such as the Gini coefficient are relatively stable compared to many countries. But society still "classifies" people according to different opportunities, depending on the family situation and where they live.

Not far from now, students who "get" fix their university entrance exam scores in some provinces mostly fall into families with money or rights. Countries with advanced education like the US are also noisy Hollywood stars running into college for their children. Many observers believe that President Trump won the election thanks to the very good exploitation of the opportunity inequality aspect of different social classes in the election speeches. For example, he stated that illegal immigrants are not allowed to receive equal rights and opportunities as US citizens.

The inequality of different groups of people in society is explained by three main factors. Firstly, by personal effort. For example, those who study better often pass the university with a higher score. Skilled doctors and engineers are more rewarded for their work. Second, due to favorable circumstances or not, also known as favorable weather, or luck. Third, due to the different opportunities of each person. Children who have similar abilities but who are born in different family circumstances lead to them having different advantages and different success in life.

Of the three factors mentioned above, world economists have recently inclined to conclude that opportunity inequality is a factor we need to eliminate. This perception is very important, because for a very long time, Vietnam or some countries have focused too much on the equalization and raking of labor results for nearly the whole society. In the meantime, the manager forgot to identify which factors created the "bad" inequality that needs to be overcome.

Misdirection from social management thinking will have serious consequences. For example, for nearly three decades, the state focused farmers in cooperatives, forcing them to share the same tools and production conditions - with the aim of eliminating income inequality. . But this movement turned out to have eliminated the individual economic dynamics, resulting in the opposite, exhausting the economy's production.

After that, the government corrected the land by assigning land to households. Vietnam has had to import rice to become one of the world's leading rice exporters. The allocation of land to each household actually creates equality of production opportunities, indirectly recognizing positive inequalities in outcomes - households who try to grow well will harvest well, have more income.

Opportunity inequality also distorts all fair competition, leaving the economy unable to function optimally. For example, if Enterprise A works worse than Enterprise B, but there is internal information about a land clearance project to build roads and win a bid, A has more opportunities than Enterprise B to develop further. .

An economy that is not built on healthy competition with equal opportunities to sift out the best businesses will be lagged behind the world. Even in the long run, inequalities between social strata are so great that they stem from opportunity inequality that can cause social insecurity and disorder.

When looking at and assessing individuals and groups differently, managers need to pay more attention to inequality opportunities, although they are sophisticated and difficult to identify, but are likely to be the potential cause for different results. Managers who understand this can improve their social competencies.

Opportunity inequality can actually be mitigated by policy. For example, in the field of education, if we allocate a reasonable budget there will be no situation in some remote areas, students have to swing across the river to go to school; or lectures and reference materials from primary to tertiary courses, if integrated into an open learning database, all people who wish to study on their own can access online - providing educational opportunities sex for a lot of lives.

The UK and the US have the best university education and research in the world partly because their top universities are fully autonomous private universities, Vietnam can also learn from similar experiences and move forward. promote university autonomy so that private schools have equal opportunities with public schools. From there, education will change.

Dang Hoang Hai Anh