|Amartya Kumar Sen|
Sen in 2000
Amartya Kumar Sen|
3 November 1933
Manikganj, Bangladesh, British India
Nabaneeta Dev Sen
(m. 1958; div. 1976)
(m. 1978; her death 1985)
Emma Georgina Rothschild
|Field||Welfare economics, development economics, ethics|
University of Calcutta (BA) |
University of Cambridge (BA, MA, PhD)
|Contributions||Human development theory|
Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1998)|
Bharat Ratna (1999)
National Humanities Medal (2012)
Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science (2017)
|Information at IDEAS / RePEc|
|Part of a series on|
Amartya Kumar Sen, CH, FBA (Bengali: [ˈɔmort:o ˈʃen]; born 3 November 1933) is an Indian economist and philosopher, who since 1972 has taught and worked in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Sen has made contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, economic and social justice, economic theories of famines, and indices of the measure of well-being of citizens of developing countries.
He is the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University and member of faculty at Harvard Law School. He is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 and India's Bharat Ratna in 1999 for his work in welfare economics. In 2017, Sen was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science for most valuable contribution to Political Science.
In 2004, Sen was ranked number 14 in BBC's poll of the Greatest Bengali of all time.
Early life and education
Amartya Sen was born in a Bengali Baidya family in Santiniketan in West Bengal, India, on the campus on Rabindranath Tagore's Viswa-Bharati University, to Ashutosh Sen and Amita Sen. Rabindranath Tagore gave Amartya Sen his name (Bengali অমর্ত্য ômorto, lit. "immortal"). Sen's family was from Wari and Manikganj, Dhaka, both in present-day Bangladesh. His father Ashutosh Sen was a professor of chemistry at Dhaka University who moved with his family to West Bengal in 1945 and worked at various government institutions, including the West Bengal Public Service Commission (of which he was the chairman), and the Union Public Service Commission. Sen's mother Amita Sen was the daughter of Kshiti Mohan Sen, a well-known scholar of ancient and medieval India and close associate of Rabindranath Tagore. He served as the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University for some years.
Sen began his high-school education at St Gregory's School in Dhaka in 1940. From fall 1941, Sen studied at Patha Bhavana, Santiniketan. The school had many progressive features: at the school, any focus on examinations or competitive testing was deeply frowned upon. In addition, the school stressed cultural diversity, and embraced influences from the rest of the world. In 1951, he went to Presidency College, Kolkata, where he earned a B.A. in Economics with First Class, with a minor in Mathematics, as a graduating student of the University of Calcutta. While at Presidency, Sen was diagnosed with oral cancer, and given a 15% chance of living five years. With radiation treatment, he survived, and in 1953 he moved to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned a second B.A. in Pure Economics in 1955 with a First Class, topping the list as well. He was elected President of the Cambridge Majlis. While Sen was officially a Ph.D student at Cambridge (though he had finished his research in 1955–56), he was offered the position of Professor and Head of the Economics Department of the newly created Jadavpur University(among the top five Universities in India) in Calcutta, and he became the youngest chairman to head the Department of Economics. He served in that position, starting the new Economics Department, during 1956 to 1958.
Meanwhile, Sen was elected to a Prize Fellowship at Trinity College, which gave him four years of freedom to do anything he liked; he made the radical decision to study philosophy. Sen explained: "The broadening of my studies into philosophy was important for me not just because some of my main areas of interest in economics relate quite closely to philosophical disciplines (for example, social choice theory makes intense use of mathematical logic and also draws on moral philosophy, and so does the study of inequality and deprivation), but also because I found philosophical studies very rewarding on their own". His interest in philosophy, however, dates back to his college days at Presidency, where he read books on philosophy and debated philosophical themes. One of the books he was most interested in was Kenneth Arrow's Social Choice and Individual Values.
In Cambridge, there were major debates between supporters of Keynesian economics on the one hand, and the "neo-classical" economists who were skeptical of Keynes, on the other. However, because of a lack of enthusiasm for social choice theory in both Trinity and Cambridge, Sen had to choose a different subject for his Ph.D. thesis, which was on "The Choice of Techniques" in 1959, though the work had been completed much earlier (except for some valuable advice from his adjunct supervisor in India, Professor A.K. Dasgupta, given to Sen while teaching and revising his work at Jadavpur) under the supervision of the "brilliant but vigorously intolerant" post-Keynesian, Joan Robinson. Quentin Skinner notes that Sen was a member of the secret society Cambridge Apostles during his time at Cambridge.
Sen's work on 'Choice of Techniques' complemented that of Maurice Dobb. In a Developing country, the Dobb-Sen strategy relied on maximising investible surpluses, maintaining constant real wages and using the entire increase in labour productivity, due to technological change, to raise the rate of accumulation. In other words, workers were expected to demand no improvement in their standard of living despite having become more productive. Sen's papers in the late 1960s and early 1970s helped develop the theory of social choice, which first came to prominence in the work by the American economist Kenneth Arrow. Arrow, while working at the RAND Corporation, had most famously shown that when voters have three or more distinct alternatives (options), any ranked order voting system will in at least some situations inevitably conflict with what many assume to be basic democratic norms. Sen's contribution to the literature was to show under what conditions Arrow's impossibility theorem applied, as well as to extend and enrich the theory of social choice, informed by his interests in history of economic thought and philosophy.
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. 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.
Sen's interest in famine stemmed from personal experience. As a nine-year-old boy, he witnessed the Bengal famine of 1943, in which three million people perished. This staggering loss of life was unnecessary, Sen later concluded. He presents data that there was an adequate food supply in Bengal at the time, but particular groups of people including rural landless labourers and urban service providers like haircutters did not have the means to buy food as its price rose rapidly due to factors that include British military acquisition, panic buying, hoarding, and price gouging, all connected to the war in the region. In Poverty and Famines, Sen revealed that in many cases of famine, food supplies were not significantly reduced. In Bengal, for example, food production, while down on the previous year, was higher than in previous non-famine years. Sen points to a number of social and economic factors, such as declining wages, unemployment, rising food prices, and poor food-distribution, which led to starvation. His capabilities approach focuses on positive freedom, a person's actual ability to be or do something, rather than on negative freedom approaches, which are common in economics and simply focuses on non-interference. In the Bengal famine, rural laborers' negative freedom to buy food was not affected. However, they still starved because they were not positively free to do anything, they did not have the functioning of nourishment, nor the capability to escape morbidity.
In addition to his important work on the causes of famines, Sen's work in the field of development economics has had considerable influence in the formulation of the "Human Development Report", published by the United Nations Development Programme. This annual publication that ranks countries on a variety of economic and social indicators owes much to the contributions by Sen among other social choice theorists in the area of economic measurement of poverty and inequality.
Sen's revolutionary contribution to development economics and social indicators is the concept of "capability" developed in his article "Equality of What". He argues that governments should be measured against the concrete capabilities of their citizens. This is because top-down development will always trump human rights as long as the definition of terms remains in doubt (is a "right" something that must be provided or something that simply cannot be taken away?). For instance, in the United States citizens have a hypothetical "right" to vote. To Sen, this concept is fairly empty. In order for citizens to have a capacity to vote, they first must have "functionings". These "functionings" can range from the very broad, such as the availability of education, to the very specific, such as transportation to the polls. Only when such barriers are removed can the citizen truly be said to act out of personal choice. It is up to the individual society to make the list of minimum capabilities guaranteed by that society. For an example of the "capabilities approach" in practice, see Martha Nussbaum's Women and Human Development.
He wrote a controversial article in The New York Review of Books entitled "More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing" (see Missing women of Asia), analyzing the mortality impact of unequal rights between the genders in the developing world, particularly Asia. Other studies, including one by Emily Oster, had argued that this is an overestimation, though Oster has since then recanted her conclusions.
In 1999, Sen further advanced and redefined the capability approach in his book Development as Freedom. Sen argues that development should be viewed as an effort to advance the real freedoms that individuals enjoy, rather than simply focusing on metrics such as GDP or income-per-capita. Sen was inspired by violent acts he had witnessed as a child leading up to the Partition of India in 1947. On one morning, a Muslim laborer named Kader Mia stumbled through the rear gate of Sen's family home, bleeding from a knife wound in his back. Because of his extreme poverty, he had come to Sen's primarily Hindu neighborhood searching for work; his choices were the starvation of his family or the risk of death in coming to the neighborhood. The price of Kader Mia's economic unfreedom was his death. This experience led Sen to begin thinking about economic unfreedom from a young age.
In Development as Freedom, Sen outlines five specific types of freedoms: political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security. Political freedoms, the first of these, refers to the ability of the people to have a voice in government and to be able to scrutinize the authorities. Economic facilities concern both the resources within the market and the market mechanism itself. Any focus on income and wealth in the country would serve to increase the economic facilities for the people. Social opportunities deal with the establishments that provide benefits like healthcare or education for the populace, allowing individuals to live better lives. Transparency guarantees allow individuals to interact with some degree of trust and knowledge of the interaction. Protective security is the system of social safety nets that prevent a group affected by poverty being subjected to terrible misery. Before Sen's work, these had been viewed as only the ends of development; luxuries afforded to countries that focus on increasing income. However, Sen argues that the increase in real freedoms should be both the ends and the means of development. He elaborates upon this by illustrating the closely interconnected natures of the five main freedoms as he believes that expansion of one of those freedoms can lead to expansion in another one as well. In this regard he discusses the correlation between social opportunities of education and health and how both of these complement economic and political freedoms as a healthy and well-educated person is better suited to make informed economic decisions and be involved in fruitful political demonstrations etc. A comparison is also drawn between China and India to illustrate this interdependence of freedoms. Both countries were working towards developing their economies, China since 1979 and India since 1991. Despite the fact that India opened its economy about a decade later, it was able to see more rapid development as it had always been pro health and education so its population was much more productive than that of China, where health and education was unavailable to about half of the population.
Welfare economics seeks to evaluate economic policies in terms of their effects on the well-being of the community. Sen, who devoted his career to such issues, was called the "conscience of his profession". His influential monograph Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), which addressed problems related to individual rights (including formulation of the liberal paradox), justice and equity, majority rule, and the availability of information about individual conditions, inspired researchers to turn their attention to issues of basic welfare. Sen devised methods of measuring poverty that yielded useful information for improving economic conditions for the poor. For instance, his theoretical work on inequality provided an explanation for why there are fewer women than men in India and China despite the fact that in the West and in poor but medically unbiased countries, women have lower mortality rates at all ages, live longer, and make a slight majority of the population. Sen claimed that this skewed ratio results from the better health treatment and childhood opportunities afforded boys in those countries, as well as sex-selective abortions.
Governments and international organizations handling food crises were influenced by Sen's work. His views encouraged policy makers to pay attention not only to alleviating immediate suffering but also to finding ways to replace the lost income of the poor—for example through public works—and to maintain stable prices for food. A vigorous defender of political freedom, Sen believed that famines do not occur in functioning democracies because their leaders must be more responsive to the demands of the citizens. In order for economic growth to be achieved, he argued, social reforms—such as improvements in education and public health—must precede economic reform.
In 2009, Sen published a book called The Idea of Justice. Based on his previous work in welfare economics and social choice theory, but also on his philosophical thoughts, he presented his own theory of justice that he meant to be an alternative to the influential modern theories of justice of John Rawls or John Harsanyi. In opposition to Rawls but also earlier justice theoreticians Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau or David Hume, and inspired by the philosophical works of Adam Smith and Mary Wollstonecraft, Sen developed a theory that is both comparative and realizations-oriented (instead of being transcendental and institutional). However, he still regards institutions and processes as being important. As an alternative to Rawls's veil of ignorance, Sen chose the thought experiment of an impartial spectator as the basis of his theory of justice. He also stressed the importance of public discussion (understanding democracy in the sense of John Stuart Mill) and a focus on people's capabilities (an approach that he had co-developed), including the notion of universal human rights, in evaluating various states with regard to justice.
Sen began his career both as a teacher and a research scholar in the Department of Economics, Jadavpur University as a Professor of Economics in 1956. He spent two years in that position. From 1957 to 1963, Sen served as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Between 1960 and 1961, Sen was a visiting Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, where he got to know Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow, Franco Modigliani, and Norbert Wiener. He was also a visiting Professor at UC-Berkeley (1964-1965) and Cornell (1978-1984). He taught as Professor of Economics between 1963 and 1971 at the Delhi School of Economics (where he completed his magnum opus Collective Choice and Social Welfare in 1969). During this time he was also a frequent visitor to various other premiere Indian economic schools and centres of excellence like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indian Statistical Institute, Centre for Development Studies, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and Centre for Studies in Social Sciences. Sen was a companion of distinguished economists like Manmohan Singh (Ex-Prime Minister of India and a veteran economist responsible for liberalizing the Indian economy), K. N. Raj (Advisor to various Prime Ministers and a veteran economist who was the founder of Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, which is one of India's premier think tanks and schools) and Jagdish Bhagwati (who is known to be one of the greatest Indian economists in the field of International Trade and currently teaches at Columbia University). This is a period considered to be a Golden Period in the history of DSE. In 1971, he joined the London School of Economics as a Professor of Economics where he taught until 1977. From 1977 to 1988, he taught at the University of Oxford, where he was first a Professor of Economics and Fellow of Nuffield College, and then the Drummond Professor of Political Economy and a Fellow of All Souls College from 1980. In 1987, he joined Harvard as the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor of Economics. In 1998 he was appointed as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming the first Asian head of an Oxbridge college. In January 2004, Sen returned to Harvard. He also established the Eva Colorni Trust at the former London Guildhall University in the name of his deceased wife.
In May 2007, he was appointed as chairman of Nalanda Mentor Group to examine the framework of international cooperation, and proposed structure of partnership, which would govern the establishment of Nalanda International University Project as an international centre of education seeking to revive the ancient center of higher learning which was present in India from the 5th century to 1197.
On 19 July 2012, Sen was named the first chancellor of the proposed Nalanda University (NU). Teaching began in August 2014. On 20 February 2015, Amartya Sen withdrew his candidature for a second term.
Membership and associations
He has served as president of the Econometric Society (1984), the International Economic Association (1986–1989), the Indian Economic Association (1989) and the American Economic Association (1994). He has also served as President of the Development Studies Association and the Human Development and Capability Association. He serves as the honorary director of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Human and Economic Development Studies at Peking University in China.
Sen has been called "the Conscience of the profession" and "the Mother Teresa of Economics" for his work on famine, human development theory, welfare economics, the underlying mechanisms of poverty, gender inequality, and political liberalism. However, he denies the comparison to Mother Teresa, saying that he has never tried to follow a lifestyle of dedicated self-sacrifice. Amartya Sen also added his voice to the campaign against the anti-gay Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
Sen is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council.
Media and culture
A 57-minute documentary named Amartya Sen: A Life Re-examined directed by Suman Ghosh details his life and work.
A 2001 portrait of Sen by Annabel Cullen is in Trinity College's collection. A 2003 portrait of Sen hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
In 2011, he was present at the Rabindra Utsab ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), Bangladesh. He unveiled the cover of Sruti Gitobitan, a Rabindrasangeet album comprising all the 2222 Tagore songs, brought out by Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, principal of Shurer Dhara School of Music.
Sen was critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was announced as the prime ministerial candidate by the BJP. In April 2014, he said that Modi would not make a good Prime Minister. However, he conceded later in December 2014 that Modi did give people a sense of faith that things can happen. In February 2015, Sen opted out of seeking a second term for the chancellor post of Nalanda University, stating that the Government of India was not keen on him continuing in the post.
Personal life and beliefs
Sen has been married three times. His first wife was Nabaneeta Dev Sen, an Indian writer and scholar, with whom he had two daughters: Antara, a journalist and publisher, and Nandana, a Bollywood actress. Their marriage broke up shortly after they moved to London in 1971. In 1978 Sen married Eva Colorni, an Italian economist, daughter of Eugenio Colorni and Ursula Hirschmann and niece of Albert O. Hirschman. The couple had two children, a daughter Indrani, who is a journalist in New York, and a son Kabir, a hip hop artist, MC, and music teacher at Shady Hill School. Eva died of cancer in 1985. In 1991, Sen married Emma Georgina Rothschild, who serves as the Jeremy and Jane Knowles Professor of History at Harvard University.
The Sens have a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is the base from which they teach during the academic year. They also have a home in Cambridge, England, where Sen is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Rothschild is a Fellow of Magdalene College. He usually spends his winter holidays at his home in Santiniketan in West Bengal, India, where he used to go on long bike rides until recently. Asked how he relaxes, he replies: "I read a lot and like arguing with people."
Sen is an atheist and holds that this can be associated with one of the atheist schools in Hinduism, the Lokayata. In an interview for the magazine California, which is published by the University of California, Berkeley, he noted:
In some ways people had got used to the idea that India was spiritual and religion-oriented. That gave a leg up to the religious interpretation of India, despite the fact that Sanskrit had a larger atheistic literature than exists in any other classical language. Madhava Acharya, the remarkable 14th century philosopher, wrote this rather great book called Sarvadarshansamgraha, which discussed all the religious schools of thought within the Hindu structure. The first chapter is "Atheism"—a very strong presentation of the argument in favor of atheism and materialism.
Awards and honours
Sen has received over 90 honorary degrees from universities around the world.
- Adam Smith Prize, 1954
- Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1981
- Honorary fellowship by the Institute of Social Studies, 1984
- Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, 1998
- Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, 1999
- Honorary citizenship of Bangladesh, 1999
- Order of Companion of Honour, UK, 2000
- Leontief Prize, 2000
- Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service, 2000
- 351st Commencement Speaker of Harvard University, 2001
- International Humanist Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union, 2002
- Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, 2004
- Life Time Achievement award by Bangkok-based United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
- Honorary degree, University of Pavia, 2005
- National Humanities Medal, 2011
- Order of the Aztec Eagle, 2012
- Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, 2013
- 25 Greatest Global Living Legends In India by NDTV, 2013
- Top 100 thinkers who have defined our century by The New Republic, 2014
- Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize, 2015
- Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, 2017
- Sen, Amartya (1960). Choice of Techniques: An Aspect of the Theory of Planned Economic Development. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
- Sen, Amartya (1997) . On Economic Inequality (expanded ed.). Oxford New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198281931.
- Sen, Amartya (1982). Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Oxford New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198284635.
- Sen, Amartya; Williams, Bernard (1982). Utilitarianism and beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780511611964.
- Sen, Amartya (1983). Choice, Welfare, and Measurement. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 9780631137962.
- Reprinted as: Sen, Amartya (1999). Choice, Welfare, and Measurement. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674127784.
- Reviewed in the Social Scientist: Sanyal, Amal (October 1983). ""Choice, welfare and measurement" by Amartya Sen". Social Scientist. 11 (10): 49–56. doi:10.2307/3517043.
- Sen, Amartya (1970). Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1st ed.). San Francisco, California: Holden-Day. ISBN 9780816277650.
- Reprinted as: Sen, Amartya (1984). Collective Choice and Social Welfare (2nd ed.). New York, NY: North-Holland Sole distributors for the U.S.A. and Canada, Elsevier Science Publishing Co. ISBN 9780444851277.
- Sen, Amartya (1997). Resources, Values, and Development. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674765269.
- Sen, Amartya (1985). Commodities and Capabilities (1st ed.). New York, NY: North-Holland Sole distributors for the U.S.A. and Canada, Elsevier Science Publishing Co. ISBN 9780444877307.
- Reprinted as: Sen, Amartya (1999). Commodities and Capabilities (2nd ed.). Delhi New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195650389. Reviewed in The Economic Journal.
- Sen, Amartya; McMurrin, Sterling M. (1986). The Tanner lectures on human values. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. ISBN 9780585129334.
- Sen, Amartya (1987). On Ethics and Economics. New York, NY: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 9780631164012.
- Sen, Amartya; Drèze, Jean (1989). Hunger and public action. Oxford England New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198286349.
- Sen, Amartya (1992). Inequality Reexamined. New York Oxford New York: Russell Sage Foundation Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198289289.
- Sen, Amartya; Nussbaum, Martha (1993). The Quality of Life. Oxford England New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198287971.
- Sen, Amartya; Foster, James E. (1997). On economic inequality. Radcliffe Lectures. Oxford New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198281931.
- Sen, Amartya; Drèze, Jean (1998). India, economic development and social opportunity. Oxford England New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198295280.
- Sen, Amartya; Suzumura, Kōtarō; Arrow, Kenneth J. (1996). Social Choice Re-examined: Proceedings of the IEA conference held at Schloss Hernstein, Berndorf, near Vienna, Austria. 2 (1st ed.). New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312127398.
- Sen, Amartya (1999). Development as Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198297581.
- Sen, Amartya (2000). Freedom, Rationality, and Social Choice: The Arrow Lectures and Other Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198296997.
- Sen, Amartya (2002). Rationality and Freedom. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press. ISBN 9780674013513.
- Sen, Amartya; Suzumura, Kōtarō; Arrow, Kenneth J. (2002). Handbook of social choice and welfare. Amsterdam Boston: Elsevier. ISBN 9780444829146.
- Sen, Amartya (2005). The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture, and Identity. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9780312426026.
- Sen, Amartya (2006). Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny. Issues of our time. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN 9780393329292.
- Sen, Amartya (31 December 2007). Imperial Illusions. Washington D.C. / Online: The New Republic.
- Sen, Amartya; Zamagni, Stefano; Scazzieri, Roberto (2008). Markets, money and capital: Hicksian economics for the twenty-first century. Cambridge, UK New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521873215.
- Sen, Amartya; Stiglitz, Joseph E.; Fitoussi, Jean-Paul (2010). Mismeasuring our lives: why GDP doesn't add up: the report. New York: New Press Distributed by Perseus Distribution. ISBN 9781595585196.
- Sen, Amartya (2011). Peace and Democratic Society. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers. ISBN 9781906924393.
- Drèze, Jean and Sen, Amartya. 2013. An Uncertain Glory: The Contradictions of Modern India. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 9781846147616.
- Sen, Amartya. 2015. The Country of First Boys: And Other Essays. OUP India. ISBN 0198738188.
Chapters in books
- Sen, Amartya (1980), "Equality of what? (lecture delivered at Stanford University, 22 May 1979)", in MacMurrin, Sterling M., The Tanner lectures on human values, 1 (1st ed.), Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 9780874801781.
- Sen, Amartya (1988), "The concept of development", in Srinivasan, T.N.; Chenery, Hollis, Handbook of development economics, 1, Amsterdam New York New York, N.Y., U.S.A: North-Holland Sole distributors for the U.S.A. and Canada, Elsevier Science Publishing Co., pp. 2–23, ISBN 9780444703378.
- Sen, Amartya (2004), "Capability and well-being", in Nussbaum, Martha; Sen, Amartya, The quality of life, New York: Routledge, pp. 30–53, ISBN 9780415934411.
- Sen, Amartya (2004), "Development as capability expansion", in Kumar, A. K. Shiva; Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko, Readings in human development: concepts, measures and policies for a development paradigm, New Delhi New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195670523.
- Sen, Amartya (2008), ""Justice" - definition", in Durlauf, Steven N.; Blume, Lawrence E., The new Palgrave dictionary of economics (8 volume set) (2nd ed.), Basingstoke, Hampshire New York: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 9780333786765. See also: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics.
- Sen, Amartya (2008), ""Social choice" - definition", in Durlauf, Steven N.; Blume, Lawrence E., The new Palgrave dictionary of economics (8 volume set) (2nd ed.), Basingstoke, Hampshire New York: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 9780333786765. See also: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics.
- Sen, Amartya (1962). "An aspect of Indian agriculture". Economic and Political Weekly (formerly The Economic Weekly). Sameeksha Trust. 14: 243–246. Pdf version.
- Sen, Amartya (Jan–Feb 1970). "The impossibility of a paretian liberal". Journal of Political Economy. University of Chicago Press via JSTOR. 78 (1): 152–157. doi:10.1086/259614. Pdf version.
- Sen, Amartya (March 1976). "Poverty: An ordinal approach to measurement". Econometrica. The Econometric Society via JSTOR. 44 (2): 219–231. doi:10.2307/1912718. Pdf version.
- Sen, Amartya (September 1979). "Utilitarianism and welfarism". The Journal of Philosophy. Journal of Philosophy, Inc. via JSTOR. 76 (9): 463–489. doi:10.2307/2025934.
- Sen, Amartya (1986). "Chapter 22 Social choice theory". Handbook of Mathematical Economics. Elsevier ScienceDirect. 3: 1073–1181. doi:10.1016/S1573-4382(86)03004-7.
- Sen, Amartya (20 December 1990). "More than 100 million women are missing". The New York Review of Books. NY Rev Inc.
- Sen, Amartya (7 March 1992). "Missing women: social inequality outweighs women's survival advantage in Asia and North Africa". British Medical Journal. BMJ. 304 (6827): 587–588. doi:10.1136/bmj.304.6827.587. PMC 1881324
. PMID 1559085. Pdf version.
- Sen, Amartya (May 2005). "The three R's of reform". Economic and Political Weekly. Sameeksha Trust. 40 (19): 1971–1974.
- Sen, Amartya (8 December 1998), The possibility of social choice, Trinity College, Cambridge, UK (Nobel lecture) (PDF), Sweden: Nobel Media AB (Nobel Prize).
- Sen, Amartya (1999), Reason before identity, Oxford New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199513895.
- News coverage of the 1998 Romanes Lecture in the Oxford University Gazette.
- Sen, Amartya (February 1986), Food, economics and entitlements (wider working paper 1), 1986/01, Helsinki: UNU-WIDER.
Selected works in Persian
Also a list of Persian translations of Amartya Sen's work is available here
- Sen, Amartya (2010). The idea of justice. London: Penguin. ISBN 9780141037851.
- Deneulin, Séverine (2009). "Book reviews: Intellectual roots of Amartya Sen: Aristotle, Adam Smith and Karl Marx". Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. Taylor and Francis. 10 (2): 305–306. doi:10.1080/19452820902941628.
- "President Obama Awards 2011 National Humanities Medals". National Endowment for the Humanities. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "University Professorships - Harvard University". Harvard University. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- "Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen honoured in US". The British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- "Amartya Sen awarded the 2017 Johan Skytte Prize". Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Listeners name 'greatest Bengali'". 2004-04-14. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
- "The Hindu : International : Mujib, Tagore, Bose among `greatest Bengalis of all time'". www.thehindu.com. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
- "The Daily Star Web Edition Vol. 4 Num 313". archive.thedailystar.net. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
- "Amartya Sen - Biographical". www.nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
- Al Jazeera English (2010-08-21), One on One - Amartya Sen, retrieved 2016-04-26
- "Amartya Sen – Biographical: Philosophy and economics". The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998. Nobel Prize. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Amartya Sen - Biographical". www.nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
- "Amartya Sen – Biographical: Cambridge as a battleground". The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998. Nobel Prize. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Professor Quentin Skinner and Alan Macfarlane (2 June 2008). Interview of Professor Quentin Skinner – part 2 (Video). Cambridge: YouTube. 57:55 minutes in.
- Benicourt, Emmanuelle (1 September 2002). "Is Amartya Sen a post-autistic economist?". Post-Autistic Economics Review. Post-Autistic Economics | PAECON (15): article 4. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Sachs, Jeffrey (26 October 1998). "The real causes of famine: a Nobel laureate blames authoritarian rulers". Time Magazine. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, ed. (2010). "Overview | Celebrating 20 years of human development". Human Development Report 2010 | 20th anniversary edition | the real wealth of nations: pathways to human development. New York, NY: United Nations Development Programme. p. 2. ISBN 9780230284456.
...the first HDR called for a different approach to economics and development – one that put people at the centre. The approach was anchored in a new vision of development, inspired by the creative passion and vision of Mahbub ul Haq, the lead author of the early HDRs, and the ground-breaking work of Amartya Sen.Pdf version.
- Batterbury, Simon; Fernando, Jude (2004), "Amartya Sen", in Hubbard, Phil; Kitchin, Rob; Valentine, Gill, Key thinkers on space and place, London: Sage, pp. 251–257, ISBN 9780761949626. Draft
- Sen, Amartya (2010), "Equality of what?", in MacMurrin, Sterling M., The Tanner lectures on human values, 4 (2nd ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 195–220, ISBN 978-0521176415. Pdf version.
- Nussbaum, Martha (2000). Women and human development: the capabilities approach. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521003858.
- Oster, Emily; Chen, Gang (2010). "Hepatitis B does not explain male-biased sex ratios in China". Economics Letters. 107 (2): 142–144. doi:10.1016/j.econlet.2010.01.007.
- Sen, Amartya (1998). Development as Freedom. Anchor. ISBN 0385720270.
- Sen, Amartya (27 October – 9 November 2001). "Many Faces of Gender Inequality". Frontline. The Hindu. 18 (22).
- "Amartya Sen | Indian economist". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
- "Amartya Sen | Biographical: opening paragraph". The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998. Nobel Prize. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Amartya Sen | Biographical: Delhi School of Economics". The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998. Nobel Prize. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Prof. Amartya Sen". Trinity College, Cambridge. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Tonkin, Boyd (5 July 2013). "Amartya Sen: The taste of true freedom". Retrieved 19 July 2015.
- "Ministry of External Affairs, Press Release: Nalanda University Bill". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
The University of Nalanda is proposed to be established under the aegis of the East Asia Summit (EAS), as a regional initiative. Government of India constituted a Nalanda Mentor Group (NMG) in 2007, under the Chairmanship of Prof. Amartya Sen...
- Ahmad, Faizan (20 July 2012). "Amartya Sen named Nalanda University chancellor". The Times Of India. India. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "People: Key committees 1. | Academic Advisory Committee, Honorary Director: Amartya Sen". Center for Human and Economic Development Studies (CHEDS), Peking University. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
- Steele, Jonathan (19 April 2001). "The Guardian Profile: Amartya Sen". London: The Guardian | Culture | Books. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- Coy, Peter (25 October 1998). "Commentary: The Mother Teresa of economics". Businessweek. New York. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Bill, Dunlop (31 August 2010). "Book Festival: Amartya Sen, Nobel prize-winning welfare economist". Edinburgh: Edinburgh Guide. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Ramesh, Randeep (18 September 2006). "India's literary elite call for anti-gay law to be scrapped". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "WHO | Amartya Sen". www.who.int. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- Steele, Jonathan (2001-03-31). "The Guardian Profile: Amartya Sen". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- "Berggruen Institute".
- Producer/director: Suman Ghosh | Narrator: Victor Banerjee (2003). Amartya Sen: A Life Reexamined, A Film (DVD). Brooklyn, New York: First Run/Icarus Films. Icarus Films newsletter. Archived 19 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Gupta, Aparajita (1 January 2012). "Nobel laureate's life on silver screen". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Artist: Annabel Cullen | Subject: Amartya Sen (2001). Amartya Sen (b.1933), Master (1998–2004), Economist and Philosopher (Painting). Trinity College, University of Cambridge: BBC Your Paintings | Collection: Trinity College, University of Cambridge.
- Artist: Antony Williams | Subject: Amartya Sen (2003). Amartya Sen (Painting). National Portrait Gallery, London.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "Narendra Modi is not a good PM candidate: Amartya Sen". NDTV.
- "Narendra Modi did give people a sense of faith that things can happen". Indian Express.
- "Amartya Sen Quits Nalanda".
- Sen, Amartya (23 November 2001). "A world not neatly divided". New York Times. New York. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Amartya Sen speaks on culture at World Bank". Tokyo: The World Bank | News & Broadcast. 13 December 2000. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
When a Hindu priest begins the puja today, invoking an alternative calendar and declaring the year 1406, what is he remembering? Mohamed’s flight from Mecca to Medina, in a mixed lunar and solar form! ... This is why cultural studies are so important, because it brings out clearly how non-insular cultures are and their willingness to accept new influences.Pdf transcript. Archived 11 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- Chanda, Arup (28 December 1998). "Market economy not the panacea, says Sen". Rediff On The Net. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
Although this is a personal matter... But the answer to your question is: No. I do not believe in god.
- Bardhan, Pranab (July–August 2006). "The arguing Indian". California Magazine. Cal Alumni Association UC Berkeley. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Curriculum Vitae: Amartya Sen" (PDF). Harvard University. January 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Chapter "S"", Members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences: 1780–2013, Cambridge, Massachusetts: American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2013, p. 498, retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Professor Amartya Sen receives awards from the governments of France and Mexico". Harvard University | Department of Economics | News. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Chevalier de la légion d'honneur à M. Amartya SEN" (Given by Fabien Fieschi, Consul General of France in the USA). 27 November 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- Ghosh, Deepshikha (14 December 2013). "If you get an honour you think you don't deserve, it's still very pleasant: Amartya Sen". New Delhi: NDTV. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Amartya Sen wins new UK award". Indian Express. London. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- Sugden, Robert (September 1986). ""Commodities and Capabilities" by Amartya Sen". The Economic Journal. 96 (383): 820–822. doi:10.2307/2232999.
- Mathur, Piyush (31 October 2003). "Revisiting a classic "Development as Freedom" by Amartya Sen". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Mishra, Pankaj (9 July 2005). "In defence of reason (book review)". London: The Guardian | Books. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Tharoor, Shashi (16 October 2005). "A passage to India". Washington D.C.: Washington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Sen, Amartya (17 December 1998). "Reason must always come before identity, says Sen". University of Oxford. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Forman-Barzilai, Fonna (2012), "Taking a broader view of humanity: an interview with Amartya Sen.", in Browning, Gary; Dimova-Cookson, Maria; Prokhovnik, Raia, Dialogues with contemporary political theorists, Houndsmill, Basingstoke, Hampshire New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 170–180, ISBN 9780230303058
- Various (2003). "Special issue, on Amartya Sen". Feminist Economics. Taylor and Francis. 9 (2–3).
- Amartya Sen at Harvard University
- The Possibility of Social Choice 1998 lecture at NobelPrize.org
- Amartya Sen on Cultural Relativism and "the good life" on Berggruen Institute's YouTube channel
- Profile and Papers at Research Papers in Economics/RePEc
- Fearing Food edited by Julian Morris. Chapter on Sen
- Amartya Sen (1933– ). The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of Economics and Liberty (2nd ed.). Liberty Fund. 2008.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
Sir Michael Atiyah
| Master of Trinity College, University of Cambridge
Sir Martin Rees
| President of the Econometric Society
1984 – 1985
| President of the International Economic Association
1986 – 1989
Anthony B. Atkinson
| President of the American Economic Association
1994 – 1995
Victor R. Fuchs
|New creation|| President of the Human Development and Capability Association
September 2004 – September 2006
Robert C. Merton / Myron S. Scholes
| Laureates of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
Robert A. Mundell
M. S. Subbulakshmi / Chidambaram Subramaniam
| Recipient of the Bharat Ratna
Served alongside: Jayaprakash Narayan, Gopinath Bordoloi, Ravi Shankar
Lata Mangeshkar / Bismillah Khan