Amartya sen


Amartya Sen is an Indian economist, internationally recognized for his work on the theory of social choice, economic well-being and human development.

Amartya Sen was born in Bengal, India in 1933. After studying several in his country, he migrated to the United Kingdom and obtained a doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University in 1959.

As a doctoral student, he was a professor from 1956 to 1958 at the newly created Jadavpur University in Calcutta. After a couple of years in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was a professor at the Delhi university (1963-1971), in the London School of Economics (1971-1977) and in Oxford university (1977-1988). Finally, since 1988 he worked in Harvard University, except for the period of 1997-2004 where he returned to Cambridge University.

Additionally, he performed managerial roles in the International Economic Association, the American Economic Association, the Indian Economic Association, the Development Studies Association and the Econometric Society. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to the theory of welfare and social choice.

Social choice theory and welfare economics

In the book "Collective Choice and Social Welfare" Sen extensively explains the complicated relationship between individual and social preferences. As early as 1950, Kenneth Arrow in his article "A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare" It showed a strong paradox: it was impossible to design a voting system with the Pareto optimality criterion, which would respect individual preferences, without the existence of a dictator.

However, Amartya Sen goes beyond economic theory and turns to philosophical ideas and political science. He argues โ€” also mathematically โ€” that a social choice is possible if the values โ€‹โ€‹of equity and justice are included.

In the article "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal" , Sen shows a logical paradox that maintains that there cannot be a social system that simultaneously guarantees a minimum of freedom and is Pareto optimal. This being a contradiction for liberals, who defend the free market because it respects individual decisions and can achieve a Pareto optimum.

Human development

Amartya Sen conceptualizes human development as the process of increasing the opportunities and capabilities of all people. Considering that freedom is an indispensable condition for achieving development.

In the book "Development as Freedom" argues that freedom and justice are intrinsically related. For this reason, poverty and extreme economic inequality can be understood as a deprivation of liberty.

Free markets and the democratic state can act together to achieve change: eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, and expand social participation. American philosopher Marta Nussbaum has continued Sen's work on capabilities, human development, and quality of life.

Measurement of poverty, human development and social progress

In your article "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement" , Amartya Sen approaches the problem of measuring poverty. Beyond the notion of low income / wealth, the Sen index weights incidence and inequality within the social segment of the poor. This has allowed a better understanding of poverty in the different countries of the world and has made possible the better targeting of government subsidies.

On the other hand, Amartya Sen's theoretical developments were used by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq, who estimated the Human Development Index (HDI). The United Nations Development Program quantifies the HDI from 1990 to date. And it does so with three variables: health (life expectancy), education (years of schooling) and economic wealth (GDP per capita).

Finally, it should be noted that the president of France commissioned Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz and Jean-Paul Fitoussi in 2008 to establish a commission to determine the limits of GDP and to carry out explorations around other types of measurements. The research carried out served as the basis for the construction of the social progress index.

Tags:  opinion cryptocurrencies administration 

Interesting Articles