LSE LSE Research Laboratory LSE
LSE Research Laboratory (RLAB)

Abstract for:

Foundations for measuring equality: A discussion paper for the Equalities Review

Tania  Burchardt,  June 2006
Paper No' CASE/111: | Full paper (pdf)
Save Reference as: BibTeX BibTeX File | Endote EndNote Import File
Keywords: Equality; opportunity, capability approach

JEL Classification: I31; I32

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CASE Papers
Share this page: Google Bookmarks Google Bookmarks | Facebook Facebook | Twitter Twitter

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.