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Freedom, Opportunity and Wellbeing

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  • James E. Foster

    ()
    (Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

Abstract

This paper reexamines key results from the measurement of opportunity freedom, or the extent to which a set of options offers a decision maker real opportunities to achieve. Three cases are investigated: no preferences, a single preference, and plural preferences. The three co the cardinality relation, the indirect utility relation, and the effective freedom relation variations are considered within a common axiomatic framework. Special attention is given to representations of freedom rankings, with the goal of providing practical approaches for measuring opportunity freedom and the extent of capabilities.key results from the measurement of opportunity freedom, or the extent to which a set of options offers a decision maker real opportunities to achieve. Three cases are investigated: no preferences, a single preference, and plural preferences. The three corresponding evaluation methods the cardinality relation, the indirect utility relation, and the effective freedom relation variations are considered within a common axiomatic framework. Special attention is given to rankings, with the goal of providing practical approaches for measuring opportunity freedom and the extent of capabilities.key results from the measurement of opportunity freedom, or the extent to which a set of options offers a decision maker real opportunities to achieve. Three cases are investigated: no rresponding evaluation methods – the cardinality relation, the indirect utility relation, and the effective freedom relation – and their variations are considered within a common axiomatic framework. Special attention is given to rankings, with the goal of providing practical approaches for measuring

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2010-15.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in University of Oxford, Poverty and Human Development Initiative, April 2010
Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2010-15

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Web page: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/
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Related research

Keywords: freedom; individual choices; welfare; capabilities; axiomatic approaches; orderings;

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References

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  1. John Weymark, 2003. "Generalized Gini Indices of Equality of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 5-24, April.
  2. Amartya SEN, 1990. "Welfare, Freedom and Social Choice: a Reply," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1990040, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. Prasanta K. Pattanaik & Yongsheng Xu,, . "On Preference and Freedom," Discussion Papers 96/1, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  4. Martin van Hees & Marcel Wissenburg, 1999. "Freedom and Opportunity," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 47(1), pages 67-82, 03.
  5. A. Atkinson, 2003. "Multidimensional Deprivation: Contrasting Social Welfare and Counting Approaches," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 51-65, April.
  6. Ok, Efe A., 2002. "Utility Representation of an Incomplete Preference Relation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 429-449, June.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  8. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
  9. François Bourguignon & Satya Chakravarty, 2003. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-49, April.
  10. James M. Buchanan, 1954. "Social Choice, Democracy, and Free Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 114.
  11. Pattanaik, Prasanta K. & Xu, Yongsheng, 2000. "On Ranking Opportunity Sets in Economic Environments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 48-71, July.
  12. Sen, Amartya, 1991. "Welfare, preference and freedom," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 15-29, October.
  13. Kreps, David M, 1979. "A Representation Theorem for "Preference for Flexibility"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 565-77, May.
  14. Prasanta K. PATTANAIK & Yongsheng XU, 1990. "On Ranking Opportunity Sets in Terms of Freedom of Choice," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1990036, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  15. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
  16. Bossert, Walter, 2000. "Opportunity sets and uncertain consequences1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 475-496, May.
  17. Majumdar, Mukul & Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "A Note on Representing Partial Orderings," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 543-45, October.
  18. Martin van Hees, 1998. "On the Analysis of Negative Freedom," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 175-197, October.
  19. Bossert Walter & Pattanaik Prasanta K. & Xu Yongsheng, 1994. "Ranking Opportunity Sets: An Axiomatic Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 326-345, August.
  20. Sen, Amartya, 1988. "Freedom of choice : Concept and content," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 269-294, March.
  21. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Sebastian Bervoets, 2007. "Freedom of choice in a social context: comparing game forms," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 295-315, September.

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