The Measurement of Capabilities

Posted: 17 Jun 2007

See all articles by Paul Anand

Paul Anand

The Open University - Department of Economics; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS); IZA; University of Oxford


Health, the Production of Capabilities and Quality of Life.

The paper uses a new dataset on human capabilities across a wide range of life domains to examine three questions relating to health, human and capabilities aspects of quality of life. Specifically, the analysis (a) examines the extent to which health status is associated with capabilities, (b) investigates the multivariate distribution of capabilities as a function of health using latent class analysis and (c) models the relationship between health, its capability covariates, and life satisfaction (happiness). The main findings are: that health status is related to many aspects of human capabilities both in simple non-parametric tests and in models that allow for controls; that when clustered using data on over 60 aspects of a person's capabilities it is possible to identify a group with low capabilities all round, half of whom have limited health status; and that in models of life satisfaction with controls, health status has no direct impact though a small number of capability indicators for which health status is a covariate, do.

Keywords: capabilities, health, quality of life

JEL Classification: D60, I19, A10

Suggested Citation

Anand, Paul, The Measurement of Capabilities. iHEA 2007 6th World Congress: Explorations in Health Economics Paper, Available at SSRN:

Paul Anand (Contact Author)

The Open University - Department of Economics ( email )

Walton Hall
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS) ( email )

United Kingdom

IZA ( email )

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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