Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Look at actual outcomes , not means

Sen proposes a "capabilities" approach.

In contrast with the utility-based or resource-based lines of thinking, individual advantage is judged in the capability approach by a person's ability to do things he or she has reason to value.

[It is] a general approach, focusing on information on individual advantages, judged in terms of opportunity rather than a specific 'design' for how a society should be organized.

.. It focuses on human life, and not just on some detached objects of convenience, such as incomes or commodities that a person may possess, which are often taken, especially in economic analysis, to be the main criteria for human success. Indeed, it proposes a serious departure from concentrating on the means of living to the actual opportunities of living. (p231-233)
This is very important, and I very much agree with his focus on actual outcomes.

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