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Implementing the capability approach with respect for individual valuations: an illustration with Colombian data

Listed author(s):
  • Koen Decancq
  • Erik Schokkaert
  • Blanca Zuluaga

In many applications of the capability approach it is necessary to rank individuals with respect to their well-being. This raises the diââ¬âcult question of how to select the weights to be attached to the relevant functionings or capabilities. We explore the possibility of using individual valuations to set these weights and we propose the equivalent income measure as a specific well-being measure that is consistent with these individual valuations. We discuss its implementation and compare the results to four alternative well-being measures based on Colombian data for 2008: income, subjective well-being, the official SISBEN index, and the Colombian Multidimensional Poverty Index (CMPI). We find that there is remarkably little overlap between the different measures. The different well-being measures identify different individuals as worst-off. This finding highlights the empirical relevance of the selection of the well-being measure when implementing the capability approach.

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Paper provided by KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers Department of Economics with number 543498.

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Date of creation: Jun 2016
Publication status: Published in Discussion paper series, DPS16.09 pages:1-32
Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:543498
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://feb.kuleuven.be/Economics/

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  1. Paul Anand & Cristina Santos & Ron Smith, 2007. "The measurement of capabilities," Open Discussion Papers in Economics 67, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
  2. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 476-487, August.
  3. Sabina Alkire & James Foster, 2011. "Understandings and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 289-314, June.
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