Maurizio Pugno, Scitovsky meets Sen: endogenising the dynamics of capability, Cambridge Journal of Economics (now online)

Sen’s ‘capability approach’ is especially focused on human development as freedom from deprivations, while Scitovsky’s The Joyless Economy is focused on how people can expand their internal capability endogenously by enjoying learning as a socially embedded process. This paper uses the complementarity between the two authors to build a comprehensive dynamic approach to people’s ‘functionings and capabilities’. Different groups of ‘functionings’ are thus characterised by their different patterns of development in interaction with the resources available and the social context. As a result, Sen’s problems of evaluating ‘functionings’ and measuring ‘capability’ can be alleviated; harmful functionings can be predicted; children’s welfare can be better evaluated; and Sen’s definitions of ‘capability’, ‘agency’, and ‘well-being’ can be refined.

The article online is here.