Conditions of Life, Functionings and Capability: Similarities, Differences and Complementary Features
The German conditions of life approach to the measurement of well-being bears some resemblance to the capability approach (CA) and can be said to anticipate some of its features. In particular, both approaches view well-being as inherently multidimensional and suggest that freedom of choice is an important aspect of well-being. Conditions of life are viewed as elements that together build an opportunity set from which the person can choose only one element. The paper gives a brief, chronological introduction to the conditions of life approach and considers the differences between the versions proposed by the main authors. Parallels are then drawn between the individual versions of the conditions of life approach and the CA. There are several similarities with the CA, but the conditions of life approach takes up some issues that CA more or less neglects. This thus gives rise to the question of how these issues fit into the CA.
Conditions of life, Capability, Measurement of well-being, Opportunity sets,
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