Aguilar Bellamy, Alexandra (2009). "Modeling Martha Nussbaum's human capabilities framework for policy-making: survey design to measure basic capabilities of migrant seasonal agricultural workers in Mexico. " Paper presented at the 6th annual conference of the HDCA, 10-12 September 2009, Lima, Peru.

Migrant seasonal agricultural workers are among the most vulnerable groups in Mexico. Year after year, more than three million men, women and children leave their hometowns in the poorest regions in the country to be hired as "jornaleros" (daily paid wages) in middle and large-scale high intensity farms in central and northern states. Most of these farms rely on high-value crops directed to meet the demands of a well paying international market. Inequality on basic capabilities among agricultural migrant households in comparison to the general population has reached unacceptable degrees. Most agricultural migrant workers are from rural regions and depend on small farming for self consumption. Around 60% do not have access to land or have low quality lands that do not produce enough for self sufficiency. Combining the latter with low levels of development of other basic capabilities has resulted on a highly restricted spectrum of freedom of choices for this population group. Migrant households have limited options and resources, therefore are unable to change their migratory pattern and feel like “they do not have any other option but to keep going”. This paper presents a survey recently developed to measure basic capabilities of jornaleros in order to readdress institutional intervention and reduce overall inequalities of this group. The methodological framework proposes an instrument to identify important capabilities of migrant workers and correlates them to diverse vulnerabilities related to each household member’s age, gender and ethnic origin.