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Human Development and Opportunity Costs

The creation of social opportunities makes a direct contribution to the expansion of human capabilities and the quality of life. Expansion of health care, education, social security, etc., contribute directly to the quality of life and to its flourishing. There is every evidence that even with relatively low income, a country that guarantees health care and education to all can achieve remarkable results in terms of the length and quality of life of the entire population. The highly labour-intense nature of health care and basic education – and human development in general – makes them comparatively cheap in the certain stages of economic development, when labour costs are low.

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Education, Welfare and Economics: A Human Capabilities View

In terms of welfare, the human capabilities approach was developed as a means of measuring the opportunities open to an individual and through that, the welfare of a society. Two of the major authors in the capabilities approach are Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Popular metrics which gets conflated with the status of a nation’s welfare is that of Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Read more