Journal article Open Access

AMARTYA SENS CAPABILITY APPROACH TO HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: AN EMPIRICAL OPERATIONALIZATION USING PARTIAL LEAST SQUARES MODELING

Nour Eddine Aguenane

From the point of view of the capability approach, human development is defined as a process of expanding human capabilities. In other words, well-being must be assessed by the different things that a person can aspire to be or to do or what Amartya Sen calls functionings. The set of functionings vectors that are possible for the individual represents his capability. The latter is, therefore, a substantial freedom which indicates that an individual is free to lead the kind of life he values. Therefore, this paper aims to operationalize these concepts by modeling the capabilities as latent constructs and the functionings as manifest variables. The estimation of the hierarchical model built using the partial least squares approach made it possible to calculate dimensional composite indicators reflecting the level of five human capabilities retained as fundamental dimensions of human development; namely, health, education, shelter, employment and mobility and communication. An overall composite indicator reflecting the level of human development measured in terms of capabilities is also estimated at the level of the sixty sample countries. This paper explores the structural relationships between capabilities, classifies countries according to the level of capabilities and compares the index obtained with the human development index and the gross domestic product per capita.

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