Walls of Glass. Measuring Deprivation in Social Participation
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This paper proposes a measure for deprivation in social participation, an important but so far neglected dimension of human well-being. Operationalisation and empirical implementation of the measure are conceptually guided by the capability approach. Essentially, the paper argues that deprivation in social participation can be convincingly established by drawing on extensive non-participation in customary social activities. In doing so, the present paper synthesizes philosophical considerations, axiomatic research on poverty and deprivation, and previous empirical research on social exclusion and subjective well-being. An application using high-quality German survey data supports the measure’s validity. Specifically, the results suggest, as theoretically expected, that the proposed measure is systematically different from related concepts like material deprivation and income poverty. Moreover, regression techniques reveal deprivation in social participation to reduce life satisfaction substantially, quantitatively similar to unemployment. Finally, the validity of the measure and the question of preference vs. deprivation are discussed.
Keywords: social participation, capability approach, deprivation, life satisfaction, multidimensional poverty, SOEP
Presented by: Nicolai Suppa
Nicolai Suppa is currently postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Demographic Studies in Barcelona and Research Associate with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford. He holds a PhD in economics from TU Dortmund in Germany, where he also studied economics and sociology. His research interests are best described as applied welfare economics, including multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis, research on subjective well-being, the capability approach, labour economics, and applied econometrics.