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Policies, concepts and measurement

Led by: Prof. Julian Le Grand.

Research Team: Francesa Borgonovi, Tania Burchardt, John Hills, Kitty Stewart, Holly Sutherland, David Piachaud and Polly Vizard.

There continues to be an important conceptual debate around the notions of exclusion and inclusion. We are continuing our work on the relationship between the concept of social exclusion and Amartya Sen's capabilities framework. We are investigating a number of approaches to operationalising the capabilities framework, and examine empirically the overlap between income poverty, functioning poverty and capability poverty for particular subsections of the population. We are also continuing to contribute to issues around measurement and comparison of indicators of social exclusion and other aspects of well-being at a regional level within the European Union.

Although not labelled as a comprehensive 'War on Poverty', the Labour Government between 1997 and 2001 introduced a range of policy measures designed to counter poverty in childhood and old age and against individual and area social exclusion. We are bringing together an assessment of these measures, including: tax and benefit changes; employment policy; education changes; related parts of social policy (such as towards teenage pregnancy); and area-based policy. The results of this assessment will be published at the end of 2004.

We are continuing to research other aspects of policy which relate to our general interests. For example, we are looking into social security and community care provision for disabled people living in their own home and the complex mix of cash payments and care services they face, which vary widely both within and between local authorities. We are assessing the likely impact of asset-based welfare programmes, such as the Saving Gateway and the Child Trust Fund, by looking at the impact of assets on monetary and non-monetary outcomes. We are also continuing to monitor the progress being made on the Government's pledge to abolish child poverty in a generation.

Associated CASEpapers: CASEpaper 53, CASEpaper 55, CASEpaper 57, CASEpaper 63, CASEpaper 67, CASEpaper 73, CASEpaper 87, CASEpaper 88, CASEpaper 127, CASEreport 28