Amartya Kumar Sen

(b. 1933)

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(1933– )

Nobel prize-winning economist and social theorist. Educated at Presidency College, Calcutta and then at Trinity College Cambridge, Sen used the time of a Junior Research Fellowship to study philosophy, leaving to become Professor of Economics at Delhi from 1963 to 1971. He subsequently taught at the London School of Economics, Oxford, Harvard and many other universities in the United States, before becoming Master of Trinity College from 1998 to 2003. His work on social choice was directed towards enriching the basis on which a social choice function could be defended, in order to circumvent the negative results of Arrow. This work culminated in the capabilities approach to the measurement of social goods or value. Work on more practical problem of measurement and famine also followed, including his study of the 1974 Bangladesh famine that concluded that the root cause of famine was political rather than agricultural. Books include Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), Poverty and Famines (1981), Choice, Welfare and Measurement (1982), Resources, Values and Development (1984), Commodities and Capabilities (1985), and Inequality Reexamined (1992).

Subjects: Philosophy.

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