Empirical Interconnections among Instrumental Freedoms for Development: An Exploratory Cross-Sectional Study

Nour Eddine Aguenane


In 'development as freedom', Amartya Sen discussed the instrumental role of five types of freedom in improving people's overall capability to lead the kind of lives they value. He argues that when these types of freedom interconnect, they reinforce each other, and their instrumental role in the development process becomes stronger. Therefore, this paper explores possible empirical interconnections between three of the five freedoms identified by Sen: political freedoms, economic facilities, and transparency guarantees. These categories of freedom are considered latent variables. The estimation of the structural equation models and the multi-group analysis using the partial least squares approach confirmed three main results: (i) freedoms of different kinds can strengthen one another through direct positive effects; (ii) they also reinforce each other indirectly, by playing mediating roles; and (iii) these direct and indirect mechanisms of mutual reinforcement operate in the same way both in developed or developing countries.


Human Development; Capability Approach; Instrumental Freedoms;Partial Least Squares Approach

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