Title: A real options approach to measuring freedom in Sen's capabilities approach

Authors: Sovan Mitra

Addresses: Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, 309 Regent St., Marylebone, London, W1B 2HW, UK

Abstract: Sustainability has gained increasing prominence in research literature, with environmental and social issues becoming more important in economic issues. One of the normative approaches to addressing sustainability issues has been applying Sen's capabilities approach. One of the advantages of Sen's capabilities approach is that it is able to take into account a wider range of issues in decision making compared to alternative methods, such as the ethical importance of freedom. A key problem in operationalising Sen's capabilities approach is providing a quantitative framework for measuring the freedom in decisions. In this paper we propose a method for operationalising Sen's capabilities approach by using the real options analysis as a framework to quantifying the freedom in decisions. The real options analysis is a well-established method of modelling economic decisions and using such an approach we propose quantifying the freedom in decisions in terms of the flexibility to exercise decision under the real options analysis. In this paper we show how real options analysis can be used to quantify and indicate the freedom of decisions in terms of Sen's capabilities approach. This paper provides a new framework for analysing decisions under Sen's capabilities approach and examples are provided.

Keywords: real options; capabilities approach; operationalising; freedom; welfare.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSE.2022.119716

International Journal of Sustainable Economy, 2022 Vol.14 No.1, pp.98 - 110

Received: 15 Dec 2020
Accepted: 13 Apr 2021

Published online: 16 Dec 2021 *

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