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CAPABILITIES FOR THE MISERABLE; HAPPINESS FOR THE SATISFIED

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explain the process of diversification of normative economics by presenting the work of two authors—Tibor Scitovsky (1910–2002) and Amartya Sen (1933–). While these two authors first contributed to traditional welfare analysis from within, they were subsequently involved in the development of two different, and even opposed, programs: the economics of happiness; and the capability approach. They focused on different concepts of well-being: the “joy” of satisfied consumers for Scitovsky; and the “capabilities” of deprived individuals for Sen. In imposing new theoretical frameworks and applications, as well as new concepts of well-being, which are measureable, the capability approach and the economics of happiness represent two major attempts to renew normative economic analysis.

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Journal of the History of Economic Thought
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