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Capability Sets as the Basis of a New Measure of Human Development

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Author Info

  • Wulf Gaertner
  • Yongsheng Xu

Abstract

Human development is about much more than growth in real income. It is about expanding the choices human beings have to lead lives that they value. The potential choices and their expansion can be captured by capability sets that consist of various functioning vectors. The standard of living is then reflected in these capability sets. This paper proposes a particular way of measuring the standard of living available either to an individual or household or to a whole nation, when the direction of the development of society represented by a reference functioning vector is uncertain. The basis for our theoretical analysis is Lancaster's characteristics approach to consumer theory, which is combined with Sen's concept of functionings. We provide an axiomatic characterization of the measure that we propose.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649880600815891
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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 7 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 311-321

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:7:y:2006:i:3:p:311-321

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Related research

Keywords: Functionings; Capabilities; Lancaster's theory of characteristics; Standard of living;

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Cited by:
  1. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: new controversies, old critiques," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 249-288, June.
  2. Agee, Mark D. & Crocker, Thomas D., 2013. "Operationalizing the capability approach to assessing well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 80-86.
  3. Rebeca Echávarri & Iñaki Permanyer, 2008. "Ranking profiles of capability sets," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 521-535, October.
  4. Bleichrodt, Han & Quiggin, John, 2011. "Capabilities as Menus: A Non-Welfarist Basis for QALY Evaluation," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 151199, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  5. Wulf Gaertner, 2012. "Evaluating sets of objects in characteristics space," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 303-321, July.

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