Happiness and Human Development: A Capability Perspective

Tadashi Hirai, Flavio Comim, Yukio Ikemoto

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Subjective information about people's quality of life has always received bad press in the human development paradigm and the capability approach, despite their influence in the promotion of human-centred policies. But, there are arguments put forward by their founders, Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, that subjective information, or happiness, can play several important roles in thinking about human development policies. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine how happiness can be part of human development and capability strategies. For this aim, Sen and Nussbaum's views on happiness will be reviewed and compared to understand the value of subjective information in their work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1155-1169
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of International Development
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Amartya Sen
  • Martha Nussbaum
  • adaptive preferences
  • capability approach
  • happiness
  • human development


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