Skip to content

Journal Article

Capabilities and well-being: evidence based on the Sen-Nussbaum approach to welfare

Authors

Publication date

Oct 2005

Summary

One of the most significant theoretical contributions to welfare analysis across a range of disciplines has been the development of the capabilities framework by Sen and others. Motivated by the claim that freedom should play a key role in social evaluation, the capabilities framework suggests that we consider what it is that people are free to do, as well as what they actually do. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey in conjunction with a list of substantial values posited by Martha Nussbaum, we contribute to the operationalisation and testing of this approach. Specifically, we suggest that commonly used secondary data sources do provide some information about the capabilities people have and that this can be incorporated into models of (subjective) well-being such as those used by a growing number of labour and health economists. We find evidence that a wide range of capabilities exhibit statistically significant relations to well-being that the relations are complex and slightly different for men and women, and conclude with suggestions for future developments.

Published in

Social Indicators Research

Volume and page numbers

74 (1):9-55 , 9 -55

ISSN

16

Links

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-005-6518-z

#507910


Research home

Research home

News

Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author

Podcasts

Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society

Projects

Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs

Events

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report

Themes

Key research themes and areas of interest