Short Title

Applying Sen's Capability Approach to Work & Income


Applying Sen's capability approach, this paper explores income poor individuals' capabilities—abilities, skills, resources, and opportunities at personal, inter-personal, and structural levels—for work and income. It reports on data collected from 92 individuals identified through purposive sampling and interviewed face-to- face. The study found that 11% of respondents had varied work capabilities and earned a relatively high income; 49% of respondents had some work capabilities and were in the medium income bracket; 40% of respondents had few work capabilities and remained below the poverty line; and 8% of respondents with even fewer work capabilities were not working. Implications include expansion of certain work abilities, skills, resources, and opportunities to enhance poor people's capability for work.

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