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Vol. 65, No. 4, pp. 318-331 (2014)

“Re-Conceptualization of the Capability Approach: Opportunity, Autonomy and Identity”
Reiko Gotoh (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

A capability is defined as the set of alternatives (substantive opportunity), from which an individual can actually choose and have reason to choose, given certain resources and skills, based on her own evaluation. Yet, how should we judge whether or not she can really choose? What are the criteria to distinguish an individual's choice from her capability, the shortage of which can legitimately be addressed of social policies? This is the question of the identification of an individual's capability. The results are as follows. (1) The “maximization model with capability constraints” brings about solutions which satisfy the Pareto efficiency in capability space, rather than in the traditional resource space). (2) With the concept of positional objectivity, we can insist that except in the case where it is derived from the individual's subjectivity and individuality, called “pure subjectivity”, an individual's choice can also be a constituent of capability as an informational bases of social policy.