An important hypothesis put forth by Amartya Sen is that a given level of per capita real income in a population can generate quite different levels of socio‐economic well‐being depending on the economic infrastructure of that population and the distribution of income. Sen's hypothesis is refined in this paper to reflect the manner in which income is spent and labor is allocated and utilized within a household specific to particular groups within society and how this impacts upon both the level of well‐being and economic efficiency. The evidence on living conditions and mortality presented here from early twentieth century New York City, underlies the potential significance of the household economy as a key determinant of economic well‐being. Focusing simply on per capita income estimates, even corrected for the distribution of income, misses fundamentally important determinants of human capabilities and economic well‐being with potentially important implications for public policy.
Altman, M. and Lamontagne, L. (2004), "Gender, human capabilities and culture within the household economy: Different paths to socio‐economic well‐being?", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 325-364. https://doi.org/10.1108/03068290410523377Download as .RIS
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