Book Chapter

Operationalisation of the Capability Approach



Chiappero-Martinetti E, Egdell V, Hollywood E & McQuaid R (2015) Operationalisation of the Capability Approach. In: Otto H, Atzmüller R, Berthet T, Bifulco L, Bonvin J, Chiappero-Martinetti E, Egdell V, Halleröd B, Kjeldsen C, Kwiek M, Schröer R, Vero J & Zielenska M (eds.) Facing Trajectories from School to Work. Towards a Capability-Friendly Youth Policy in Europe. Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects, 20. Dordrecht): Springer, pp. 115-139.

While the Capability Approach offers a rich, comprehensive and innovative way to measure well-being, its operationalisation is a demanding task. This chapter starts by broadly discussing some central issues related to the operationalisation of the Capability Approach and providing an overview of how these have been addressed in the recent empirical literature. Applications of the Capability Approach in labour market and education research are then explored, discussing how quantitative and qualitative methodological and empirical challenges have been tackled. The chapter then moves to present the methodological and empirical strategies used in a project concerning the capabilities of young unemployed people in different European countries, highlighting issues of how to suitably capture and measure young people's capabilities were addressed and outlining lessons learned that are relevant to those using the Capability Approach in the future.

Capability Approach; Operationalisation; young people; transition

Title of seriesTechnical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects
Number in series20
Publication date31/12/2015
Publisher URL…-3-319-11436-1_7
Place of publicationDordrecht)
ISSN of series1871-3041

People (1)


Professor Ronald McQuaid
Professor Ronald McQuaid

Professor of Work and Employment, Management, Work and Organisation