Frustrated Freedom: The Effects of Agency and Wealth on Wellbeing in Rural Mozambique

47 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2013 Last revised: 22 Mar 2013

See all articles by Bart Victor

Bart Victor

Vanderbilt University - Organization Studies

Edward Fischer

Vanderbilt University - Anthropology Department

Bruce Cooil

Vanderbilt University - Statistics

Alfredo Vergara

Vanderbilt University - School of Medicine

Abraham Mukolo

Vanderbilt University - Institute for Global Health

Date Written: February 5, 2013

Abstract

In the capability approach to poverty, wellbeing is threatened by both deficits of wealth and deficits of agency. Sen describes that “unfreedom,” or low levels of agency, will suppress the wellbeing effects of higher levels of wealth. We introduce another condition, “frustrated freedom,” in which higher levels of agency belief can heighten the poverty effects of low levels of wealth. Presenting data from a study of female heads of household in rural Mozambique, we find that agency belief moderates the relationship between wealth and wellbeing, uncovering evidence of frustrated freedom.

Keywords: poverty, capabilities, agency, wellbeing, Mozambique, Africa

Suggested Citation

Victor, Bart Irwin and Fischer, Edward and Cooil, Bruce and Vergara, Alfredo and Mukolo, Abraham, Frustrated Freedom: The Effects of Agency and Wealth on Wellbeing in Rural Mozambique (February 5, 2013). World Development, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2220849

Bart Irwin Victor (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Organization Studies ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Edward Fischer

Vanderbilt University - Anthropology Department ( email )

124 Garland Hall
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Bruce Cooil

Vanderbilt University - Statistics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Alfredo Vergara

Vanderbilt University - School of Medicine ( email )

Nashville, TN 37232-0685
United States

Abraham Mukolo

Vanderbilt University - Institute for Global Health ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

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