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A Multicriteria Approach for Well-Being Assessment in Rural Areas

Leonardo Casini (), Fabio Boncinelli (), Caterina Contini (), Francesca Gerini () and Gabriele Scozzafava ()
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Leonardo Casini: University of Florence
Caterina Contini: University of Florence
Francesca Gerini: University of Florence
Gabriele Scozzafava: University of Florence

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2019, vol. 143, issue 1, No 19, 432 pages

Abstract: Abstract Maintaining an adequate quality of life in rural areas is fundamental to expedite processes of endogenous development of these areas. Policies applied in this sense require information tools that take into account the multi-dimensionality of the concept of quality of life and enable quantitative assessments of well-being. One of the greatest problems found in literature is that of succeeding in conjugating the theoretical approaches of well-being with coherent measurement methodologies. The goal of this paper is to propose a methodology that identifies conditions of an unsatisfactory quality of life on the territorial level, combining the theory of capabilities of A. Sen with tools of fuzzy analysis. This methodology thus proves to coherently combine the theoretical principles for defining the indicators with mathematical tools suited for aggregating and assessing them, thereby making it possible to work around and evaluate them, and allowing us to go beyond the traditional limits of the proposed models, such as the assumptions of substitutability and linearity in concisely evaluating the components of well-being. Moreover, the advantages of this model also include those of being flexible and transparent, which means it can be applied in diversified socioeconomic contexts and can be verified by stakeholders in the course of its principal phases of realisation. This methodology has been applied to the rural townships of Tuscany. The results have permitted us to point out the main causes of social exclusion and the strong relationships between levels of well-being, as they have been defined, and phenomena of population decline.

Keywords: Fuzzy analysis; Quality of life; Rural development; Sen’s theory of capabilities; Well-being indicators; Social exclusion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I30 O18 C43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s11205-018-1978-0

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