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Capabilities, social rights and European market integration


  • Jude Browne
  • Simon Deakin
  • Frank Wilkinson


This paper explores the links between the economic notion of 'capabilities' and the judicial concept of social rights. We begin by revisiting TH Marshall's classic analysis of social rights and their ambiguous relationship to the market. We then examine how far Amartya Sen's Capabilities Approach provides a framework for locating social rights within a market setting. We argue that Sen's non-dogmatic, context-orientated approach to defining the meaning of capabilities offers a viable way forward for thinking about the current tension between market rights and social rights in the European Union. This argument is illustrated by reference to the role played by mechanisms of corporate social responsibility in promoting gender equality.

Suggested Citation

  • Jude Browne & Simon Deakin & Frank Wilkinson, 2002. "Capabilities, social rights and European market integration," Working Papers wp253, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp253
    Note: PRO-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, Richard & Lee, Charles M. C., 1998. "Accounting valuation, market expectation, and cross-sectional stock returns," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 283-319, June.
    2. Barber, Brad M. & Lyon, John D., 1996. "Detecting abnormal operating performance: The empirical power and specification of test statistics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 359-399, July.
    3. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 2000. "Forecasting Profitability and Earnings," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73(2), pages 161-175, April.
    4. Dickerson, Andrew P & Gibson, Heather D & Tsakalotos, Euclid, 1997. "The Impact of Acquisitions on Company Performance: Evidence from a Large Panel of UK Firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 344-361, July.
    5. Gregor Andrade & Mark Mitchell & Erik Stafford, 2001. "New Evidence and Perspectives on Mergers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 103-120, Spring.
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    More about this item


    capabilities; social rights; European single market;

    JEL classification:

    • J83 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Workers' Rights
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law

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