The Contributions of Amartya K. Sen to Development Economics

Topics: Amartya Sen, Economics, Famine Pages: 10 (3035 words) Published: June 25, 2012
The Contributions of Amartya K. Sen to Development Economics


Dr. Srinivasulu Bayineni
Associate Professor
Department of Economics
Yogi Vemana University
KADAPA – 516003
Andhra Pradesh
Mobile: 9705639110

“Ours is also a world of extraordinary deprivation and of astonishing inequality. Millions perish every week from diseases that can be completely eliminated, or at least prevented from killing people with abandon”.

--- Amartya Sen


Amartya Kumar Sen (AKS) born 3rd November, 1933 is a Bengali economist. Sen is known as ‘the Conscience and the Mother Teresa of Economics’ for his work on famine, human development theory, welfare economics and the underlying mechanisms of poverty, gender inequality and political liberalism. In 1998, Sen won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to work on welfare economics. A. K. Sen is currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. Sen has taught at a dozen of the world’s most prestigious universities, including Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard and the London School of Economics. He is also a senior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a fellow of Trinity College, London and previously served as the Master from year 1998 to 2004. He is the first Indian academic to head an Oxbridge College. Sen’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages. He is a trustee of Economists for Peace and Security. He has received over 80 honorary doctorates. In the year 2010, Time magazine listed him among the 100 most influential persons in the world.

Among the awards he has received are the “Bharat Ratna” (the highest honour awarded by the President of India); the Senator Giovanni Agnelli International Prize in Ethics; the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award; the Edinburgh Medal; the Brazilian Ordem do Merito Cientifico (Grã-Cruz); the Presidency of the Italian Republic Medal; the Eisenhower Medal; and Honorary Companion of Honour (UK). In 1999, he was offered honorary citizenship of Bangladesh from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in recognition of his achievements in winning the Nobel Prize, and given that his family origins were in what has become the modern state of Bangladesh. A. K. Sen received the 2000 Leontief Prize for his outstanding contribution to economic theory from the Global Development and Environment Institute. In 2002 he received the International Humanist Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union. In 2003, he was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Life Time Achievement award by Bangkok-based United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). A. K. Sen 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. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society. This paper analyses the contributions of the Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen in the field of development economics.


Development represents the growth of humans throughout the lifespan, from conception to death. The scientific study of human development seeks to understand and explain how and why people change throughout life. This includes all aspects of human growth, including physical, emotional, intellectual, social, perceptual, and personality development. The scientific study of development is important not only to psychology, but also to sociology, education, and health care. Development does not just involve the biological and physical aspects of growth, but also the cognitive and social aspects associated with development throughout...
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