IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Capability Approach: A Formal Introduction


  • Dorian Fernando LEON

    (Faculty of Economics and Management, University Industrial of Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.)


The capability approach has been made operable and an example is the Human Development Index and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (Dotter & Klasen, 2014). However, its operable nature in the field of evaluation of specific dimension such as education, gender and poverty from a diffuse perspective is even broader (Addabbo, Di Tommaso & Facchinetti, 2004; Martinetti, 2006; Addabbo & Facchinetti, 2013). In this sense, this article aims to provide a very brief formal aproximation to the capability approach, mainly focusing on some their fundamental concepts.

Suggested Citation

  • Dorian Fernando LEON, 2017. "Capability Approach: A Formal Introduction," Journal of Economics and Political Economy, KSP Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 215-218, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ksp:journ1:v:4:y:2017:i:2:p:215-218

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sen, Amartya, 1988. "The concept of development," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 9-26, Elsevier.
    2. Ragip Ege & Herrade Igersheim & Charlotte Le Chapelain, 2016. "Transcendental vs. comparative approaches to justice: a reappraisal of Sen's dichotomy," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 521-543, August.
    3. Sen, Amartya, 1989. "Food and freedom," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 769-781, June.
    4. Sabina Alkire, 2010. "Human Development: Definitions, Critiques, and Related Concepts," OPHI Working Papers 36, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    5. Tindara Addabbo & Gisella Facchinetti, 2013. "Fuzzy logic and the capability approach," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0106, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    6. Afschin Gandjour, 2008. "Mutual dependency between capabilities and functionings in Amartya Sen’s capability approach," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(2), pages 345-350, August.
    7. Kaushik, Basu & Lòpez-Calva, Luis F., 2011. "Chapter Sixteen - Functionings and Capabilities," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 153-187, Elsevier.
    8. David A. Clark & University of Manchester, 2005. "The Capability Approach: Its Development, Critiques and Recent Advances," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-032, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Martha Nussbaum, 2004. "Beyond the social contract: capabilities and global justice. an Olaf Palme lecture, delivered in Oxford on 19 June 2003," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 3-18.
    10. Sen, Amartya, 1988. "Freedom of choice : Concept and content," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 269-294, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. León Tamayo, Dorian Fernando, 2017. "Capability Approach: A Formal Introduction," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 4(2), pages 215-218.
    2. Leon, Dorian, 2017. "Enfoque de capacidades: una introducción formal [Capability approach: a formal introduction]," MPRA Paper 79877, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Jun 2017.
    3. Cedric Pugh, 1995. "International Structural Adjustment and its Sectoral and Spatial Impacts," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 32(2), pages 261-285, March.
    4. Claudia Kettner & Angela Köppl & Sigrid Stagl, 2014. "Towards an Operational Measurement of Socio-ecological Performance. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 52," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 47154.
    5. Steven Pressman & Gale Summerfield, 2000. "The Economic Contributions of Amartya Sen," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 89-113.
    6. León Tamayo, Dorian Fernando, 2017. "Enfoque de capacidades: una introducción formal [Capability approach: a formal introduction]," MPRA Paper 79879, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Jun 2017.
    7. Gries, Thomas & Naudé, Wim, 2011. "Entrepreneurship and human development: A capability approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 216-224.
    8. Pablo Garcés-Velástegui, 2022. "On behavioral human development policies: how behavioral public policy adds to human development," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes,Facultad de Economía, CEDE, vol. 91(5), pages 171-200, July.
    9. Manuel Antonio Espinoza & Andrea Manca & Karl Claxton & Mark Sculpher, 2018. "Social value and individual choice: The value of a choice‐based decision‐making process in a collectively funded health system," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 28-40, February.
    10. Kosack, Stephen, 2003. "Effective Aid: How Democracy Allows Development Aid to Improve the Quality of Life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-22, January.
    11. Suzumura, Kotaro & Xu, Yongsheng, 2001. "Characterizations of Consequentialism and Nonconsequentialism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 423-436, December.
    12. Canton, César G., 2012. "Empowering People in the Business Frontline: The Ruggie’s Framework and the Capability Approach," management revue - Socio-Economic Studies, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, vol. 23(2), pages 191-216.
    13. Barbera, S. & Bossert, W. & Pattanaik, P.K., 2001. "Ranking Sets of Objects," Cahiers de recherche 2001-02, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    14. Anastasios Xepapadeas & Esma Amri, 1998. "Some Empirical Indications of the Relationship Between Environmental Quality and Economic Development," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(1), pages 93-106, January.
    15. Roberta Sferrazzo & Renato Ruffini, 2021. "Are Liberated Companies a Concrete Application of Sen’s Capability Approach?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 170(2), pages 329-342, May.
    16. van Dalen, Hendrik Peter & Henkens, Kene, 2018. "Do people really want freedom of choice? : Assessing preferences of pension holders," Other publications TiSEM 448e8a93-9ded-401f-9da0-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    17. Vizard, Polly, 2005. "The contributions of Professor Amartya Sen in the field of human rights," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6273, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Maier-Rigaud, Frank P. & Apesteguia, José, 2003. "The Role of Choice in Social Dilemma Experiments," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers 22/2003, University of Bonn, Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE).
    19. Rajeev, Meenakshi & Bhandarkar, Supriya, 2022. "Women Online: A Study of Common Service Centers in India Using a Capability Approach," ADBI Working Papers 1327, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    20. Tomasz Panek & Jan Zwierzchowski, 2022. "Examining the Degree of Social Exclusion Risk of the Population Aged 50 + in the EU Countries Under the Capability Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 973-1002, October.

    More about this item


    Capability approach; Functioning; Amartya Sen.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ksp:journ1:v:4:y:2017:i:2:p:215-218. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Bilal KARGI (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.