Wellbeing in Public Policy: Contributions Based on Sen’s Capability Approach

Anand, Paul (2021). Wellbeing in Public Policy: Contributions Based on Sen’s Capability Approach. LSE Public Policy Review, 2(2), article no. 2.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31389/lseppr.49


The paper provides a brief introduction to the capability approach and its use in public policy-making around the world. Specifically, it shows the approach provides a definition of wellbeing and a framework for understanding how it is produced and distributed. It notes that the framework is useful across the entire life course and so helpful for understanding wellbeing in children and retirees as well as working age adults. The paper then discusses the practical impacts of the approach on the development of monitoring systems in the OECD and UN where the Human Development Index paved the way for the globally adopted Sustainable Development Goals. It highlights the fact that behavioural and psychological factors are an important contributor to understanding how resources are converted into wellbeing.

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