Social Welfare Functions and Development

Measurement and Policy Applications

  • Nanak Kakwani
  • Hyun Hwa Son

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 1-22
  3. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 23-43
  4. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 45-76
  5. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 77-109
  6. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 111-137
  7. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 139-190
  8. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 191-228
  9. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 229-251
  10. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 253-294
  11. Nanak Kakwani, Hyun Hwa Son
    Pages 295-336
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 337-355

About this book


Nanak Kakwani and Hyu Hwa Son make use of social welfare functions to derive indicators of development relevant to specific social objectives, such as poverty- and inequality-reduction. Arguing that the measurement of development cannot be value-free, the authors assert that if indicators of development are to have policy relevance, they must be assessed on the basis of the social objectives in question. 

This study develops indicators that are sensitive to both the level and the distribution of individuals’ capabilities. The idea of the social welfare function, defined in income space, is extended to the concept of the social well-being function, defined in capability space. 

Through empirical analysis from selected developing countries, with a particular focus on Brazil, the authors shape techniques appropriate to the analysis of development in different dimensions. The focus of this evidence-based policy analysis is to evaluate alternative policies affecting the capacities of people to enjoy a better life.



Poverty Inequality Economic growth Inclusive growth Social policy evaluation Education Health Labor Market Well-being Equality of opportunity Food security Hunger Social rate of return Social tension Polarisation Brazil Developing Asia

Authors and affiliations

  • Nanak Kakwani
    • 1
  • Hyun Hwa Son
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Asian Development BankMandaluyong City, ManilaPhilippines

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-58324-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-58325-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking