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Measures of freedom

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  • D'Agata, Antonio

Abstract

According to the capability approach and more orthodox theories of individual well-being, freedom is an important ingredient of individual welfare. In operationalising these theories, therefore, it is crucial to have a practical measure of freedom. This paper analyses the measures of freedom proposed by Pattanaik and Xu, Steiner and Carter, Kramer, and Rosenbaum. We provide two interpretations of the first three measures. It is shown that one of these interpretations can be useful in empirical applications, while the other, together with additional arguments, considerably weakens Kramer's measure of freedom. Finally, it is shown that Rosenbaum's measure is not satisfactory as well because it yields counterintuitive results.

Suggested Citation

  • D'Agata, Antonio, 2009. "Measures of freedom," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 209-214, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:209-214
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin van Hees, 2004. "Freedom of choice and diversity of options: Some difficulties," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 22(1), pages 253-266, February.
    2. Tania Burchardt & Julian Le Grand, 2002. "Constraint and Opportunity: Identifying Voluntary Non-Employment," CASE Papers case55, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    3. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    4. Martin van Hees, 1998. "On the Analysis of Negative Freedom," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 175-197, October.
    5. Anand, Paul & van Hees, Martin, 2006. "Capabilities and achievements: An empirical study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 268-284, April.
    6. K. K. Lancaster, 2010. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1385, David K. Levine.
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    Cited by:

    1. Briec, Walter & Dumas, Audrey & Stenger, Agathe, 2013. "On the standard achievement and well-being indexes and their relation to the Hicks–Moorsteen productivity index," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 900-909.

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