The Open University, Economics Department, Milton Keynes
The capabilities approach developed by Sen (1985) and others has been highly influential in development circles and is increasingly being thought of as a theoretical framework suitable for understanding and measuring quality of life issues in high income contexts (Anand et al (2009), EU (2009)). In this paper, we contribute to a growing literature that draws on the approach to help understand connections between housing and quality of life. Specifically, we explore whether a broad range of capabilities and activities associated with housing have a detectable impact on housing satisfaction, and whether housing satisfaction contributes to overall life satisfaction. Our results indicate that housing satisfaction is indeed related to overall life satisfaction and that a wide range of different kinds of variables appear to impact housing satisfaction itself. The paper concludes by suggesting its findings underline the fact that a holistic view of housing policies needs to be taken if such policies are to make a full contribution to improved quality of life.
housing satisfaction capabilities approach quality of life