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Mapping sustainable development in a capability perspective

  • Marco Grasso

    (Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca)

  • Enzo Di Giulio

    (Scuola Enrico Mattei - ENI Corporate University, San Donato Milanese)

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    The importance of the notion of sustainable development has been advocated, among others, by Amartya Sen. In Sen’s view it is necessary to depart from the general strategy of defining sustainable development only in terms of fulfilment of needs and to use the broader perspective of enhancing human freedoms on a sustainable basis. The ultimate goal of this paper is to outline a possible operative map of sustainable development as intended in the capability approach. Our proposed operative outline concentrates on the role of instrumental freedoms and institutions, and it is based on the traditional themes – economic, environmental and social – of sustainability. For each considered theme we select a set of variables and frame them in the driving forces, response and state variables framework. State variables represent constitutive freedoms, the achieved functionings chosen from the capability set. Their variations are produced by driving forces variables. The latter are, in turn, influenced by response variables as triggered by institutional efficiency and effectiveness, upheld by instrumental freedoms. We eventually map each set of variables in order to point out how instrumental freedoms and institutions influence sustainable human development.

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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/hew/papers/0309/0309001.pdf
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    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0309001.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: 03 Sep 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0309001
    Note: Type of Document - ; pages: 26
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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    1. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
    2. Sen, Amartya, 1995. "Rationality and Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 1-24, March.
    3. Marco Grasso, 2002. "Una misurazione del benessere nelle Regioni italiane," Working Papers 41, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2002.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1991. "Welfare, preference and freedom," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 15-29, October.
    5. Gasper, D.R., 2002. "Is Sen's Capability Approach an Adequate Basis for Considering Human Development," ISS Working Papers - General Series 50674, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    6. Grasso Marco, 2002. "Una misurazione del benessere nelle regioni italiane," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 261.
    7. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Good and bad growth: The human development reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 631-638, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Klasen, Stephan, 2000. "Measuring Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 33-58, March.
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    11. M. Qizilbash, 2001. "Sustainable Development: Concepts and Rankings," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 134-161.
    12. Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
    13. Jonathan M. Harris, 2001. "Basic Principles of Sustainable Development," Development and Comp Systems 0106006, EconWPA.
    14. Basil M. H. Sharp, 2001. "Sustainable Development: Environment and Economic Framework Integration," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/27, New Zealand Treasury.
    15. Charles Gore, 1997. "Irreducibly social goods and the informational basis of Amartya Sen's capability approach," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 235-250.
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    17. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 1996. "Capabilities, well-being and human development: A survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 143-162.
    18. Jonathon M. Harris, . "00-04 "Basic Principles of Sustainable Development."," GDAE Working Papers 00-04, GDAE, Tufts University.
    19. repec:ems:euriss:23177 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 1994. "Human development Index: Methodology and Measurement," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-1994-02, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
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