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Do capability and functioning differ? A study of U.K. survey responses

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  • Hareth Al‐Janabi

Abstract

A core feature of the capability approach is that a person's capabilities (what they are able to do and be in their life) can differ from their functionings (what they actually do and are in their life). However, the degree to which capability and functioning differ in practice is unclear. This paper investigates this issue, focusing on capability and functioning differences (CFD) across different aspects of life and different individuals. In the study, the ICECAP‐A capability questionnaire was modified to measure both functionings and capabilities and was completed by U.K.‐based convenience sample of 943 people. Around one third of people reported CFD in at least one area of their life, most commonly in terms of their “achievement.” People were more likely to report CFD when they had a degree‐level education and when they had impaired health. An additional finding was that capability varied more with education whereas functioning varied more with health status. This finding needs further examination, but it suggests that the choice of evaluative space may influence how priorities are set for public spending.

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  • Hareth Al‐Janabi, 2018. "Do capability and functioning differ? A study of U.K. survey responses," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 465-479, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:27:y:2018:i:3:p:465-479
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3586
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    1. Engel, Lidia & Bryan, Stirling & Noonan, Vanessa K. & Whitehurst, David G.T., 2018. "Using path analysis to investigate the relationships between standardized instruments that measure health-related quality of life, capability wellbeing and subjective wellbeing: An application in the ," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 213(C), pages 154-164.
    2. Hackert, Mariska Q.N. & van Exel, Job & Brouwer, Werner B.F., 2020. "Well-being of Older People (WOOP): Quantitative validation of a new outcome measure for use in economic evaluations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 259(C).

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