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Walls of Glass: Measuring Deprivation in Social Participation

Nicolai Suppa ()

No 998, SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research from DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)

Abstract: 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, questions like preference vs. deprivation, cross-country comparisons, and the measure’s suitability as a social indicator are discussed.

Keywords: Social participation; capability approach; deprivation; life satisfaction; multidimensional poverty; SOEP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hap, nep-hpe and nep-soc
Date: 2018
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