Freedom, Opportunity and Wellbeing

OPHI Working Papers

This paper reexamines key results from the measurement of opportunity freedom, or the extent to which a set of options offers a decision maker real opportunities to achieve. Three cases are investigated: no preferences, a single preference, and plural preferences. The three co the cardinality relation, the indirect utility relation, and the effective freedom relation variations are considered within a common axiomatic framework. Special attention is given to representations of freedom rankings, with the goal of providing practical approaches for measuring opportunity freedom and the extent of capabilities. 

Author: James E. Foster

Year: 2010

Citation: Foster, J.E. (2010). 'Freedom, opportunity and wellbeing', OPHI Working Papers 35, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.

Also published in Arrow, K., Sen, A. and Suzumura, K. (eds.), 2011, Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, Volume 2, ch. 24, pp. 687-728, North Holland.

freedom, individual choices, welfare, capabilities, axiomatic approach, orderings

James Foster
Series Name
OPHI Working Papers
Publication date
JEL Codes
D63, D03, Z13, I31
Publication Number
WP 35