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Journal Article

Applying a non-parametric efficiency analysis to measure conversion efficiency in Great Britain


Publication date



In the literature on Sen's capability approach, studies focusing on the empirical measurement of conversion factors are comparatively rare. We add to this field by adopting a measure of 'conversion efficiency' that captures the efficiency with which individuals convert their resources into achieved functioning. We use a non-parametric efficiency procedure borrowed from production theory and construct such a measure for a set of basic functionings, using data from the 2005 wave of the British Household Panel Survey. In Great Britain, 49.88% of the individuals can be considered efficient while the mean of the inefficient individuals reaches one-fifth less functioning achievement. An individual's conversion efficiency is positively affected by getting older, being self-employed, married, having no health problems and living in the London area. On the other hand, being unemployed, separated/divorced/widowed and (self-assessed) disabled decrease an individual 's conversion efficiency.

Published in

Journal of Human Development and Capabilities

Volume and page numbers

12 , 257 -281





Not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only


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