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A Capability Approach for Official German Poverty and Wealth Reports: Conceptual Background and First Empirical Results

The majority of the literature related to Amartya Sen´s Capability Approach (CA) has been devoted to questions of development and developing countries. In this paper, however, with a theoretical concept and first empirical results at hand, we shed some light on Sen´s argument that the CA is also relevant to wealthy countries (Sen, 1999, p. 6). First, we discuss the political background of CA applications in the case of Germany. Second, we sketch out a new analytical framework for the assessment of poverty and wealth in affluent countries in general from a CA perspective. Third, we show how this framework can be based on a corresponding set of feasible indicators and up-to-date representative information in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (GSOEP). Finally, three selected empirical examples underline the resulting possibilities for analyses of gender inequalities, the unequal distribution of political participation and interdependencies between financial and nonfinancial issues of poverty and wealth within this integrative framework.

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File URL: http://www.iaw.edu/RePEc/iaw/pdf/iaw_dp_27.pdf
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Paper provided by Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 27.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:27
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  1. Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Valuing Freedoms: Sen's Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245796, March.
  2. Sen, Amartya, 1999. "Commodities and Capabilities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195650389, March.
  3. Ingrid Robeyns, 2005. "The Capability Approach: a theoretical survey," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 93-117.
  4. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of Human Development Index," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2000-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  5. Sudhir Anand & Amartya Sen, 2000. "The Income Component of the Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 83-106.
  6. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Poor, Relatively Speaking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 153-69, July.
  7. Atkinson, Tony & Cantillon, Bea & Marlier, Eric & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253494, March.
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