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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

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WEBINAR: The role of the Capability Approach in measuring “good work”: Building a conceptual framework

June 15 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm UTC+1

Wed, 15 June 2022

13:00 – 14:30 BST

Speaker: Thomas Stephens

Presented by the HDCA Work & Employment Thematic Group

There is no consensus, in neither the Global North or the Global South, about what constitutes a “good job.” There is particular debate over the role of ‘subjective’ job satisfaction versus ‘objective’ job characteristics. In this webinar, Thomas Stephens discusses the role that the Capability Approach could play in navigating these issues. 

He argues that in order to develop a conceptual framework we need, firstly, to have a clear process  for understanding how work-related resources relate to our wellbeing. Second, we need to place work in its wider context – looking at how work-related resources interact with people’s broader circumstances, rights and opportunities. 

To address this, he makes the case for developing measurements of multi-dimensional job quality which also attempt to measure people’s Capability Set and Conversion Factors. He argues that approaches to multi dimensional job quality which focus only on people’s current job characteristics are under-specified, since we can only truly understand the wellbeing created by these characteristics if we look at how they interact with peoples’ wider circumstances.

About the presenter:
Thomas Stephens is an ESRC-funded PhD candidate in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His thesis is focussed on developing measures of multi-dimensional quality of employment and lack of work using the Capability Approach.

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. Nicolai has published articles in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Social Choice & Welfare, Empirical Economics, and the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

Register here


June 15
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm UTC+1
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