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Capability Sets as the Basis of a New Measure of Human Development

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  • Wulf Gaertner
  • Yongsheng Xu

Abstract

Human development is about much more than growth in real income. It is about expanding the choices human beings have to lead lives that they value. The potential choices and their expansion can be captured by capability sets that consist of various functioning vectors. The standard of living is then reflected in these capability sets. This paper proposes a particular way of measuring the standard of living available either to an individual or household or to a whole nation, when the direction of the development of society represented by a reference functioning vector is uncertain. The basis for our theoretical analysis is Lancaster's characteristics approach to consumer theory, which is combined with Sen's concept of functionings. We provide an axiomatic characterization of the measure that we propose.

Suggested Citation

  • Wulf Gaertner & Yongsheng Xu, 2006. "Capability Sets as the Basis of a New Measure of Human Development," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 311-321.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:7:y:2006:i:3:p:311-321 DOI: 10.1080/14649880600815891
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rebeca Echávarri & Iñaki Permanyer, 2008. "Ranking profiles of capability sets," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(3), pages 521-535, October.
    2. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: new controversies, old critiques," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, pages 249-288.
    3. Issaka Dialga, 2016. "L'Indice du Développement Humain ou l'indice monétaire de développement ? Evidences par l’Analyse en Composantes Principales," Working Papers hal-01308724, HAL.
    4. Agee, Mark D. & Crocker, Thomas D., 2013. "Operationalizing the capability approach to assessing well-being," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 80-86.
    5. Mariano Luque & Salvador Pérez-Moreno & Beatriz Rodríguez, 2016. "Measuring Human Development: A Multi-criteria Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, pages 713-733.
    6. Bleichrodt, Han & Quiggin, John, 2013. "Capabilities as menus: A non-welfarist basis for QALY evaluation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 128-137.
    7. Wulf Gaertner, 2012. "Evaluating sets of objects in characteristics space," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(2), pages 303-321, July.

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