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Adaptation, Poverty and Well-Being: Some Issues and Observations with Special Reference to the Capability Approach and Development Studies

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  • David Clark
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    Abstract

    The idea that people adapt to poverty and deprivation by suppressing their wants, hopes and aspirations has gained a lot of currency in development ethics. While the 'adaptation problem' is often cited as one of the primary arguments for abandoning utility-based concepts of well-being in favor of the capability approach, it also has serious implications for the capability approach and development studies generally. These implications are not normally discussed or acknowledged in the well-being and development literature. Fortunately for development studies, the available evidence suggests that adaptation is not ubiquitous. Moreover, where adaptation occurs, there is some evidence to suggest that it takes a different — and far less damaging — form than the type discussed in work on human well-being and development.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649880802675051
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 21-42

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:10:y:2009:i:1:p:21-42

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    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CJHD20

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    Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CJHD20

    Related research

    Keywords: Adaptation; Aspirations; Capability; Democracy and participation; Human values; Paternalism; Poverty and human development; Utility and well-being;

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    Cited by:
    1. Dalton, P.S. & Ghosal, S. & Mani, A., 2011. "Poverty and Aspirations Failure," Discussion Paper 2011-124, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00925542 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Victor, Bart & Fischer, Edward F. & Cooil, Bruce & Vergara, Alfredo & Mukolo, Abraham & Blevins, Meridith, 2013. "Frustrated Freedom: The Effects of Agency and Wealth on Wellbeing in Rural Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 30-41.
    4. Nicolai Suppa, 2012. "Does Capability Deprivation Hurt? – Evidence from German Panel Data," Ruhr Economic Papers 0359, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    5. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00814659 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D´Ambrosio & Simone Ghislandi, 2014. "Adaptation to Poverty in Long-Run Panel Data," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 634, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Ambra Poggi, 2012. "Public jobs and capabilities: the case of the Italian waste sector," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 127, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    8. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Simone Ghislandi, 2013. "Poverty and Well-Being: Panel Evidence from Germany," PSE Working Papers hal-00814659, HAL.
    9. Solava Ibrahim, 2011. "Poverty, aspirations and wellbeing: afraid to aspire and unable to reach a better life – voices from Egypt," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 14111, BWPI, The University of Manchester.

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