A Poset-Generalizability Method for Human Development Indicators

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The paper introduces a poset-generalizability perspective for analysing human development indicators. It suggests a new method for identifying admissibility of different informational spaces and criteria in human development analysis. From its inception, the Capability Approach has argued for informational pluralism in normative evaluations. But in practice, it has turned its back to other (non-capability) informational spaces for being imperfect, biased or incomplete and providing a mere evidential role in normative evaluations. This paper offers the construction of a proper method to overcome this shortcoming. It combines tools from poset analysis and generalizability theory to put forward a systematic categorization of cases with different informational spaces. It provides illustrations by using key informational spaces, namely, resources, rights, subjective well-being and capabilities. The offered method is simpler and more concrete than mere human development guidelines and at the same time it avoids results based on automatic calculations. The paper concludes with implications for human development policies and an agenda for further work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1198
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Capability approach
  • Generalizability theory
  • Human development indicators
  • Informational pluralism
  • Poset analysis


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