Capability Approach and Fuzzy Set Theory: Description, Aggregation and Inference Issues
The aim of this Chapter has been to show in what sense fuzzy set theory can be useful in operationalizing multidimensional well-being analysis based on the capability approach. With their capacity to make formal logic and verbal formulations much closer to one another, and to establish close connections between theory and data analysis, fuzzy methodologies seem to be a useful and flexible tool for operationalizing the capability approach while preserving its richness and complexity.
The Chapter has discussed the three main phases of operationalization description, aggregation and inference - while seeking to underline the main conceptual and methodological issues that could arise from a capability perspective. What is worth emphasizing is that the application of fuzzy sets methodology does not represent a sort of mechanical exercise or standard algorithm, but requires a fundamental interpretative effort for each step, with the aim of establishing a close link between the contents of the theoretical concepts under examination and their representation through fuzzy set theory.
In order to take full advantage of fuzzy methodologies in the operationalization of the capability approach, many other aspects remain to be investigated - e.g. comparing different methods for constructing membership functions, testing different classes of fuzzy operators, making use of fuzzy inference systems for estimating capabilities instead of achieved functionings, and so forth. However, the affinity between fuzzy methodologies and the capability approach seems to be a very promising one.
KeywordsMembership Function Fuzzy Inference System Membership Degree Capability Approach Fuzzy Operator
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Alkire S (2002) Valuing freedoms. Sen’s capability approach and poverty reduction. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Baliamoune MN (2004) On the measurement of human well-being: fuzzy set theory and Sen’s capability approach. Research paper 2004/16, Wider, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
- Cheli B, Lemmi A (1995) Totally fuzzy and relative approach to the multidimensional analysis of poverty. Economic Notes 24:115–134.Google Scholar
- Chiappero-Martinetti E (1994) A new approach to evaluation of well-being and poverty by fuzzy set theory. Giornale degli economisti e annali di economia 7-9:367–388.Google Scholar
- Chiappero-Martinetti E (1996) Standard of living evaluation based on Sen’s approach: some methodological suggestion. In: Balestrino A, Carter I (eds) Functionings and capabilities: normative and policy issues. Notizie di Politeia, Milan, pp 37–54.Google Scholar
- Chiappero-Martinetti E (2000) A multidimensional assessment of well-being based on Sen’s functioning approach. Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali 108:207–239.Google Scholar
- Chiappero-Martinetti E (2005) Complexity and vagueness in the capability approach: strengths or weaknesses? In: Comim F, Qizilbash M, Alkire S (eds) Justice and poverty: essays on operationalizing Amartya Sen’s capability approach. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: forthcomingGoogle Scholar
- Clark D, Qizilbash M (2002) Core poverty and extreme vulnerability in South Africa. The Economics Research Centre, School of Economic and Social Studies, University of East Anglia, Discussion Paper 2002/3Google Scholar
- Cox E (1994) The fuzzy systems handbook. Academic PressGoogle Scholar
- Kuklys W (2005) Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach. Theoretical Insights and Empirical Applications. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Lelli S (2001) Factor Analysis vs. Fuzzy Sets Theory: Assessing the Influence of Different Techniques on Sen’s Functioning Approach. Discussion Paper Series DPS 01.21, November 2001, Center for Economic Studies, Catholic University of LouvainGoogle Scholar
- Ragin CC (2000) Fuzzy set social science. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
- Sen AK (1985) Commodities and capabilities. North Holland, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- Sen AK (1992) Inequality reexamined. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar