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Capabilities in Place: Locating Poverty and Affluence in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

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  • Tom De Herdt
  • Wim Marivoet

Abstract

We argue that the capability approach can be very helpful in exploring the links between poverty and place, thereby providing a more accurate understanding of poverty processes. We demonstrate how Sen's list of 'conversion factors' allows one to incorporate but also to go beyond the usual description of the connection between place and well-being in terms of physical and social infrastructure. More in particular, we give emphasis on the role of place in the conversion of doings into earnings. We then apply the theoretical argument to a representative sample of households in Kinshasa. Although monetary indicators of well-being and poverty indicate a downward levelling of different regions of the capital city that have been historically quite different, an exploration of the different sources of parametric variation suggests that place does continue to have a significant impact on well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom De Herdt & Wim Marivoet, 2011. "Capabilities in Place: Locating Poverty and Affluence in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 235-256.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:12:y:2011:i:2:p:235-256
    DOI: 10.1080/19452829.2011.571084
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ravallion, M., 1992. "Poverty Comparisons - A Guide to Concepts and Methods," Papers 88, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    2. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101, June.
    3. Marcelo Medeiros, 2006. "Poverty, inequality and redistribution: A methodology to define the rich," Working Papers 18, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    4. De Herdt, Tom, 2004. "Comment mesurer la pauvreté? Une déconstruction méthodologique de l’évolution de la pauvreté monétaire à Kisenso (Kinshasa RDC), 1997-2002," IOB Discussion Papers 2004.06, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Vigorito, 2011. "Bibliography on the Capability Approach 2010--2011," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 607-612, November.

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