Sunday, December 10, 2006

Literature On Sen's Capabilities-Based Approach?

Can anybody recommend to me introductory literature on Amartya Sen's capabilities-based approach to economic welfare? Sen seems to have written a lot. Where should one start?

I need literature that suggests how to encapsulate aspects of Sen's theory in equations. Ultimately, I am interested in including a function in simulations, including asessing the effect of a well or ill fed population.

5 comments:

Jack said...

This paper by Robeyns and Kuklys might help as might their paper on measuring a developed country's standard of living. There are lots of links from the Global Equity Initiative home page.

My not overly well informed impression is that a full work through of the capability approach is a massive task that on one hand is not yet complete and on the other is at least being tackled systematically, that is with a broader plan than required for individual economics papers.

Many of the people involved are helpful and cooperative.

Michael Greinecker said...

The capabilities approach is a framework for looking at distribution mechanisms, it is not a model.

There is a good overview clarifying these issues by Osmani in Basu et al, Choice, Welfare, Development. I wouldn't buy the book though, but it's great if you can get it at a library.

The standard reference is still Sens Poverty and Famines.

Robert Vienneau said...

Jack and Michael, thanks for the recommendations. Michael, I hope you find the next post amusing.

Michael Greinecker said...

I do. :-)

Michael Hoy said...

If this link is still of interest... Sen's lecture "The Equality of What" given at Stanford in 1979 is thought to be the beginning of the Capabilities Approach - or so I'm told - I have no training as an economist or a philosopher. http://culturability.fondazioneunipolis.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files_mf/1270288635equalityofwhat.pdf