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ABSTRACT: Human agency is a pivotal part of freedom and happiness. This article outlines two aspects of agency - power and control and self-establishment of goals - and situates it in the capability approach and vis a vis SWB. One can view the CA as an integration of 'agency' and 'outcome' oriented approaches. When agency is possible, it has primacy. When not, it is valued achievements (among others SWB) that acquire importance. Therefore agency is key for understanding how SWB fits in the general policy framework as a valued outcome. Two important functions of SWB information in this respect are outlined: as a frame of problem and as a signalling device on the effectiveness of policy.
University of AmsterdamAmsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands