IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Freedom and achievement of well-being in the adaptive dynamics of capabilities

Listed author(s):
  • Jun Matsuyama
  • Kenji Mori
Registered author(s):

    Sen's capability approach has been studied by many researchers including not only economists but also political philosophers. Almost all researchers consider capabilities as a static concept. However, D'Agata (2007) points out a need for consideration within a dynamic concept in the capability approach. D'Agata (2007) develops a model with utilization functions determined endogenously through the adaptive dynamics. Motivated by his work, we also consider the adaptive dynamics of capabilities. Our model formalized below focuses on a relationship between goods and capability for simplification. In this respect, our model seems to differ from D'Agata's one which focuses an evolution of utilization functions themselves. However, we assume implicitly that the evolution of capabilities depends on that of utilization functions. By applying Rosenbaum's formula (Rosenbaum, 2000; D'Agata, 2009a) to the dynamic context, to define well-being freedom, we show the existence of a distribution of goods equalizing well-being freedom of each individual, total amount of goods being fixed. Furthermore, the value of freedom is non-decreasing as the total amount of goods increases. On the other hand, by means of counter examples, we exemplify that one's well-being achievement, defined as in the dynamic context, can decrease even if he/she is given more (or equal) goods. In terms of the two-way evaluation of well-being a la Sen, the fact that a distribution of goods can negatively affect some individuals characterizes a normative quality of the adaptive process. Our model shows that economic distributive measures may have a limitation in improving individuals' well-being.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University in its series TERG Discussion Papers with number 252.

    in new window

    Length: 19 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2010
    Handle: RePEc:toh:tergaa:252
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8476

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Prasanta Pattanaik & Yongsheng Xu, 1998. "On Preference and Freedom," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 173-198, April.
    2. Bossert Walter & Pattanaik Prasanta K. & Xu Yongsheng, 1994. "Ranking Opportunity Sets: An Axiomatic Approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 326-345, August.
    3. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    4. Prasanta K. PATTANAIK & Yongsheng XU, 1990. "On Ranking Opportunity Sets in Terms of Freedom of Choice," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1990036, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Martin van Hees, 1998. "On the Analysis of Negative Freedom," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 175-197, October.
    6. Anand, Paul & van Hees, Martin, 2006. "Capabilities and achievements: An empirical study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 268-284, April.
    7. Pattanaik, Prasanta K. & Xu, Yongsheng, 2000. "On Ranking Opportunity Sets in Economic Environments," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 48-71, July.
    8. Day, Richard H & Kennedy, Peter E, 1970. "Recursive Decision Systems: An Existence Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(5), pages 666-681, September.
    9. Sen, Amartya, 1991. "Welfare, preference and freedom," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 15-29, October.
    10. Wulf Gaertner & Yongsheng Xu, 2008. "A new class of measures of the standard of living based on functionings," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 35(2), pages 201-215, May.
    11. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A New View of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 573-578, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:toh:tergaa:252. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tohoku University Library)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.