• noun the right to receive dividends from the profit of a company in which shares are owned
  • noun the value of a company that is the property of its shareholders, calculated as the value of the company’s assets minus the value of its liabilities, not including the ordinary share capital
  • noun the value of an asset minus any loans outstanding on it
  • noun a fair system of laws, the system of British law which developed in parallel with the common law to make the common law fairer, summarised in the maxim ‘equity does not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy’



  • The residual value of a business or property, often calculated by subtracting the amount of outstanding liens or mortgages from the total value of the business or property.


  • noun the value of an asset, such as a house, less any mortgage on it

Health Economics

  • (written as Equity)

    This has two quite distinct meanings in economics. One is from accounting. The other is from political philosophy. While efficiency is one ethical imperative in the design and operation of health services and other determinants of health, equity is another. It is not necessarily to be identified with equality or egalitarianism, but relates in general to ethical judgments about the fairness of income and wealth distributions, cost and benefit distributions, access to health services, exposure to health-threatening hazards and so on. Although not the same as 'equality', equity nearly always involves the equality of something (such as opportunity, health, access). Horizontal equity refers to the fairness in the treatment of apparent equals (such as persons with the same income). Vertical equity refers to fairness in the treatment of apparent unequals (such as persons with different incomes). A distribution of something (such as health, income or health insurance costs) is said to be horizontally equitable when people are treated the same in some relevant respect. Thus, if the relevant respect (a value judgment) is ' need ', then an equitable distribution is one that treats people with the same need in the same way. A distribution is said to be vertically equitable when people who are different in some relevant way are treated appropriately differently. Thus, if the relevant respect is again 'need', an equitable distribution will accord more (of some relevant entity) to those in greater need of it - how much more will normally entail further value judgments as well, probably, as assessments of the impact of the resources on their relative position in the distribution.

    At the risk of some over-simplification: in health and health care, the distribution of health itself is typically regarded as a matter of horizontal equity (i.e. avoidable inequalities are inequitable). The distribution of transfer payments and subsidies, and out-of-pocket payments by people tend to be treated as matters of vertical equity (for example, being equitably inversely related to income). Inequalities in health care utilization tend to be viewed as equitable or inequitable accordingly as they support or detract from greater equality in health, with the general (horizontal) presumption that equal health requires equal access possibilities.

Human Resources

  • noun fairness of treatment, e.g. equality of pay for the same type of job


  • noun the right to receive dividends as part of the profit of a company in which you own shares

Real Estate

  • noun the value of a piece of property over and above any mortgage or other liabilities relating to it


  • (written as Equity)
    (1) Actors' Equity Association (America). The US trade unionfor professional actors, founded in 1913. It was officially recognizedin 1919 after calling a strike for better working conditions, andin 1924 it became a closed shop. The union gained a minimum-wage scalefor its members in 1933; a strike in 1960 resulted in further improvementsin members' contracts, and the following year brought a commitmentto racial equality in the theater.

    Other US theatrical unions include the International Alliance ofTheatrical Stage Employes (sic: recognized in 1910) for technicians and the Dramatists Guild (formed in 1912) for playwrights.

    (2) Actors' Equity Association (Great Britain). The trade union forBritain's professional actors. The strict rules surrounding membership havemade the Equity card much sought-after. The association was formed in 1929 to deal with such important concerns as pay and conditions of employment. It also subsidizes professional companies in need of financial assistance, protects its members from an influx of foreign actors seeking work in Britain, and conducts research: in the 1990s an Equity survey found that actresses earn an average of 50% less than actors and even those actresses with top billing earn 30% less. One of the hazards for aspiring British actors is that they need an Equity card to be given their first speaking part in a stage production; however, in order to obtain their Equity card they need to be able to show that they have had professional engagements in the theater.

    The first actors' union was the Actors' Association foundedin 1891 by the actor-managers H. B. Irving and Seymour Hicks, partlyin response to the hiring of actors for parts rather than as membersof a company. Another organization, the variety Artists' Federation,began in 1906 but merged with Equity in 1968.