Famines and Social Response

Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen

in Hunger and Public Action

Published in print January 1991 | ISBN: 9780198283652
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596193 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

 Famines and Social Response

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This is the first of four chapters dedicated to famines. It begins by emphasising the role of public intervention in avoiding famines and then elaborates on the advantages of thinking of famine prevention in terms of an entitlement protection problem. It notes how any action should take into account the informal security systems already in play and describes some aspects of them, with special reference to sub‐Saharan Africa. Concludes with some reflections on early intervention.

Keywords: early intervention; entitlement protection; famine; famine prevention; informal security systems; public intervention; sub‐Saharan Africa

Chapter.  10992 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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