Exchange Entitlement Mapping: Theory and Evidence by Aurélie Charles (auth.)

By Aurélie Charles (auth.)

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One reason is certainly the wide and eclectic range of human capabilities such as, just as in Nussbaum’s list (2000), the ability to enjoy a healthy life, the ability of expressing free speech, freedom to exercise artistic expression, or the ability to have emotions. Indeed, not all human capabilities have a monetary cost to be supported, and the unobserved sign of the relationship between income and capabilities supports this view. Evidence from early twentieth-century New York City underlines the importance of the household economy as a source of socioeconomic well-being and indicates that cultural norms are a determinant of choice over functionings (Altman and Lamontagne 2004).

In recent decades, the concept of identity has brought valuable insights to economics by seeking to define what the individual is. The research on identity in effect points in the direction that the individual is a social individual who is rational according to a set of optimal behaviors or identity-related ideals. Identity economics5 is a relatively new branch in economics since the concept of identity was inserted into the utility function by Akerlof and Kranton (2000). Identity economics seeks to overcome the shortcomings of traditional economic theories in explaining individual behavior, and, in particular, inequalities in market outcomes.

For example, professional ethics8 create a sense of belonging to members of a professional group, which may be through a code of conduct. Members share a common vision of what the ideal professional in that group should be. In a professional context, ethics should in effect guarantee that the professional identity of an individual prevails over all other identities of this individual whenever there is a conflict of interests between the individual’s multiple identities. Another example of group identity following an idealistic view of that identity is culture.

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