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Commodities and Capabilities

Amartya Sen (Author)
Synopsis This short monograph presents a set of interrelated theses concerning the foundations of welfare economics, in particular the assessment of personal well-being and advantage. The argument presented focuses on the capability to function, i.e. what a person can do or can be, questioning in the process the more standard emphasis on opulence as in 'real income' estimates or on utility as in traditional 'welfare economic' formulations. Insofar as opulence and utility have roles, these can be seen in terms of their indirect connections with well-being and advantage. In fact, a person's motivations in making choices is treated here as a parametric variable which may or may not coincide with the pursuit of self-interest. Given the large number of practical problems arising from the roles and limitations of different concepts of interest and the judgement of advantage and well-being, this scholarly investigation is not only of theoretical interest, but also of real practical import. Two appendices, the first dealing with some international comparisons and the second, examining the sex bias in the Indian economy in terms of well-being and advantage of women vis-a-vis men, amply illustrate the approach adopted in this study.
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About the author

Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1998-2004. His most recent books are Development as Freedom and Rationality and Freedom. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

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Bibliographic information

Title Commodities and Capabilities
Author Amartya Sen
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 10th ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195650387
length xii+89p., Tables; Figures; References; Index; 22cm.