How does one explain this anomaly?

In the rst few classes we talked a little about the capability approach. The following questions are Show more In the rst few classes we talked a little about the capability approach. The following questions are based on those concepts. Note part 2 below is optional. 1. A common feature of famines ranging from those in nineteenth century India to the more recent ones in Sudan and Ethiopia was that they all took place even though there was no decline in the food-grain availability per capita in those countries. How does one explain this anomaly? 2. (Extra Credit) Consider an economy with heterogeneous agents. Each agent is indexed by the letter i. Assume that each agent owns a commodity bundle. We dene a persons achieved functioning as bi = fi(c(xi)) i.e. bi shows you what an agent actually ends up being or doing. Explain what c and fi express in the context of the capability approach. Try and come up with a mathematical denition of an agents capability in this context. 3. One popular way of measuring a societys well being is to analyse utilities of individuals in the society. Two possible ways of measuring well being based on utilities are: USociety = X N i=1 ui where i = 1; 2; :::N (1) and USociety = min(u1; u2::::un) (2)The rst measure adds up individual utilities (ui) across the entire society. The other measure uses a minimum function to do the same. Interpret these two measures. Criticise both these measures using the capabilities approach. Show less

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