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Intra-Household Inequality: A Challenge For The Capability Approach?

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  • Vegard Iversen

Abstract

In this paper, the author examines the capability approach and how it applies in the context of individuals and families living together on unequal terms. The interpretations of agency, freedom, and choice in Sen's framework are analyzed from a feminist perspective, and the author suggests that these important concepts invite special attention in the presence of domestic power imbalances. Problems with the interpretations embedded in the capability approach are pinpointed and adjustments proposed. Drawing on the vast literature on household behavior in developing countries, the author argues that capabilities have a distinctly interdependent dimension. While the discussion of agency in the capability approach has been either normative or policy-oriented, exercises that seek to evaluate individual well-being should pay more attention to the existence of alternative types of power within the realm of the household.

Suggested Citation

  • Vegard Iversen, 2003. "Intra-Household Inequality: A Challenge For The Capability Approach?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 93-115.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:9:y:2003:i:2-3:p:93-115
    DOI: 10.1080/1354570032000080868
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sunil Kumar & Renuka Mahadevan, 2008. "Construction of An Adult Equivalence Index to Measure Intra-household Inequality and Poverty: Case Study," Discussion Papers Series 363, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    2. Katharina Mader & Alyssa Schneebaum, 2013. "Zur geschlechtsspezifischen Intrahaushaltsverteilung von Entscheidungsmacht in Europa," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 39(3), pages 361-403.
    3. Jérôme De Henau, 2008. "Asymetric power within couples: the gendered effect of children and employment on entitlement to household income," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 51(2/3), pages 269-290.
    4. Fernandez, Antonia & Della Giusta, Marina & Kambhampati, Uma S., 2015. "The Intrinsic Value of Agency: The Case of Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 92-107.
    5. Elizabeth Stanton, 2007. "Engendering Human Development: A Critique of the UNDP’s Gender-Related Development Index," Working Papers wp131, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    6. Suwastika Naidu, 2016. "Does Human Development Influence Women’s Labour Force Participation Rate? Evidences from the Fiji Islands," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 1067-1084, July.
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:182-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Bastos, Amélia & Casaca, Sara F. & Nunes, Francisco & Pereirinha, José, 2009. "Women and poverty: A gender-sensitive approach," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 764-778, October.
    9. Joan Costa Font & Joan Gil Trasfi, 2007. "Generational Effects on Adult Height in Contemporary Spain: Exploring Gender and Individual Heterogeneity," Working Papers in Economics 169, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    10. Lobna M. Abdellatif & Mohamed Ramadan & Sarah A. Elbakry, 2017. "How Gender Biased Are Female-Headed Household Transfers in Egypt?," Working Papers 1126, Economic Research Forum, revised 08 Oct 2017.
    11. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2008. "Generational effects and gender height dimorphism in contemporary Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-18, March.
    12. repec:clr:wugarc:y:2013:v:39i:3p:361 is not listed on IDEAS

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