Indian Economist, Nobel Laurete, Bharat Ratna |
It was a coincidence, when my professor asked to write about the well-known economist of our times. Within few minutes, I responded back that I would like to write about my all-time favorite economist Amartya Sen. I was always fascinated about his contributions to the world of economics. Amartya Sen is currently teaching at Lamont University Professor, and has been Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University and was until recently the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has served as President of the Econometric Society, the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association and the International Economic Association. He was formerly Honorary President of OXFAM and is now its Honorary Advisor. Born in Santiniketan, India, Amartya Sen studied at Presidency College in Calcutta, India, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is an Indian citizen. He was Lamont University Professor at Harvard also earlier, from1988 – 1998, and previous to that he was the Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University, and a Fellow of All Souls College. Prior to that he was Professor of Economics at Delhi University and at the London School of Economics. Amartya Sen went to a school in Bengal which promoted curiosity rather than exam results, and he has never forgotten how one of his teachers summed up a classmate: "She is quite a serious thinker even though her grades are very good." In Sen's own case, the epigram needs re-phrasing. Even though he is high up in the world league of serious thinkers - a Nobel laureate in economics who could also have won the prize for philosophy if the committee recognized the subject - he has achieved something. Amartya Sen was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory and for his interest in the problems of society’s poorest members. DISCUSSION:
During my research about his work, I came across several essays and theories, but Sen is known best for his work on “Poverty and Famines”, theory of social choices, Welfare Economics and Human Development Program. Sen’s work on causes of famine, which led to the development of practical solutions for preventing or limiting the effects of real or perceived shortages of food. He helped to create the United Nations Human Development Index Sen has made fundamental contributions to at least four fields: social choice theory, welfare economics, economic measurement, and development economics, The reputation that he has achieved in each of these different fields is remarkable for any scholar: that he has achieved distinction in so many is utterly extraordinary. He is held in enormously high respect by theoretical, empirical and policy economists alike - to say nothing of philosophers and political theorists
In 1981, Sen published Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (1981), a book in which he argued that famine occurs not only from a lack of food, but from inequalities built into mechanisms for distributing food. The food situation in India was tight from the beginning of the Second World War with a series of crop failures and localized famines which were dealt with successfully under the Indian Famine Codes. Food prices increased throughout India, and the Central Government was forced to undertake meetings with local Govt officials and release regulations of price controls. Sen also argued that the Bengal famine was caused by an urban economic boom that raised food prices, thereby causing millions of rural workers to starve to death when their wages did not keep up. Amartya Sen (1976) revived the claim that there was no shortage of food in Bengal and that the famine was caused by inflation, with those benefiting from inflation eating more and leaving less for the rest of the population, a claim which had been widely used at...