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Foundations for measuring equality: a discussion paper for the equalities review

Burchardt, Tania (2006) Foundations for measuring equality: a discussion paper for the equalities review. CASEpaper, CASE/111. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

The Equalities Review is an independent panel set up by the UK government in 2005 to investigate the persistence of social inequalities and to make recommendations for the development of a unified Commission for Equality and Human Rights. This paper was originally written for the Review. It canvasses possible responses to the questions, ‘equality between whom?’ and ‘equality of what?’. It argues that equality of outcome is intuitively appealing but risks ignoring variations in need, differences in values and preferences, and the importance of individual agency. A broad interpretation of equality of opportunity, such as is provided by the capability approach, can address these limitations, by focusing on the substantive freedom enjoyed by individuals. Substantive freedom may be limited by a lack of personal resources, or by the economic, social, political, cultural, and environmental conditions context in which the individual is operating. The paper concludes by identifying, and indicating solutions to, a number of measurement issues that arise in operationalising the capability approach.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case
Additional Information: © 2006 Tania Burchardt
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I32 - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: CASE/111
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2008 09:09
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6236/

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