Amartya Kumar Sen
Sen in 2000
Amartya Kumar Sen
3 November 1933
(m. 1958; div. 1976)
(m. 1978; died 1985)
(m. after 1991)
Social choice theory
Maurice Dobb, Mary Wollstonecraft|
|Contributions||Human development theory|
|Awards||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|
Amartya Kumar Sen [ˈɔmort:o ˈʃen]; born 3 November 1933) is an Indian economist, who since 1972 has taught and worked in 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, decision theory, development economics, public health, and measures of well-being of countries.(Bengali pronunciation:
He is currently Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 and India's Bharat Ratna in 1999 for his work in welfare economics. The German Publishers and Booksellers Association awarded him the 2020 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for his pioneering scholarship addressing issues of global justice and combating social inequality in education and healthcare.
Early life and education
Amartya Sen was born in a Hindu family in Bengal, British India. Rabindranath Tagore gave Amartya Sen his name (Bengali অমর্ত্য ômorto, lit. "immortal or heavenly"). Sen's family was from Wari and Manikganj, Dhaka, both in present-day Bangladesh. His father Ashutosh Sen was Professor of Chemistry at Dhaka University, Development Commissioner in Delhi and then Chairman of the West Bengal Public Service Commission. He moved with his family to West Bengal in 1945. Sen's mother Amita Sen was the daughter of Kshiti Mohan Sen, the eminent Sanskritist and scholar of ancient and medieval India, who was a close associate of Rabindranath Tagore. K.M. Sen served as the second Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati University from 1953 to 1954.
Sen began his school education at St Gregory's School in Dhaka in 1940. In the fall of 1941, Sen was admitted to Patha Bhavana, Shantiniketan, where he completed his school education. The school had many progressive features, such as distaste for examinations or competitive testing. In addition, the school stressed cultural diversity, and embraced cultural 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 in the 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 Economics in 1955 with a First Class, topping the list as well. At this time, he was elected President of the Cambridge Majlis. While Sen was officially a PhD student at Cambridge (though he had finished his research in 1955–56), he was offered the position of First-Professor and First-Head of the Economics Department of the newly created Jadavpur University in Calcutta. He is still the youngest chairman to have headed the Department of Economics. He served in that position, starting the new Economics Department, from 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, and the neo-classical economists who were skeptical of Keynes. Because of a lack of enthusiasm for social choice theory in both Trinity and Cambridge, Sen chose a different subject for his PhD thesis, which was on "The Choice of Techniques" in 1959. The work had been completed earlier, except for 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.
During 1960–61, Amartya Sen visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on leave from Trinity College.
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 barbers 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 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 daily labourer 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 neighbourhood searching for work; his choices were the starvation of his family or the risk of death in coming to the neighbourhood. The price of Kader Mia's economic unfreedom was his death. Kader Mia need not have come to a hostile area in search of income in those troubled times if his family could have managed without it. 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 refer 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.
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 in 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 organisations 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, Sen 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 realisations-oriented (instead of being transcendental and institutional). However, he still regards institutions and processes as being equally 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 the University of California, Berkeley (1964-1965) and Cornell University (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 Sen 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. He 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, Oxford from 1980.
In 1987, Sen 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). Sen was criticized as the project suffered due to inordinate delays, mismanagement and lack of presence of faculty on ground. Finally teaching began in August 2014. On 20 February 2015, 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.
Media and culture
A 56-minute documentary named Amartya Sen: A Life Re-examined directed by Suman Ghosh details his life and work. A documentary about Amartya Sen, titled The Argumentative Indian, was released in 2017.
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 politician Narendra Modi when he was announced as their prime ministerial candidate by the BJP. In April 2014, he said that Modi would not make a good Prime Minister. 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.
In August 2019, during the clampdown and curfew in Kashmir for more than two weeks after the Indian revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status, Sen criticized the government and said "As an Indian, I am not proud of the fact that India, after having done so much to achieve a democratic norm in the world – where India was the first non-Western country to go for democracy – that we lose that reputation on the grounds of action that have been taken". He regarded the detention of Kashmiri political leaders as "a classical colonial excuse" to prevent backlash against the Indian government's decision and called for a democratic solution that would involve Kashmiri people.
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 Shantiniketan 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
- 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)
- 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
- Albert O. Hirschman Prize, Social Science Research Council, 2016
- Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, 2017
- Bodley Medal, 2019
- Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels, 2020
- Sen, Amartya (1960). Choice of Techniques: An Aspect of the Theory of Planned Economic Development. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
- Sen, Amartya (1973). 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. JSTOR 3517043.
- Sen, Amartya (1970). Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1st ed.). San Francisco, California: Holden-Day. ISBN 9780816277650.
- 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.
- 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.
- Review in Asia Times.
- 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". 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 (2010). The Idea of Justice. London: Penguin. ISBN 9780141037851.
- 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; 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. India: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198738183..
- Sen, Amartya (2020). Home in the World: A Memoir. London: Penguin. ISBN 9780141970981..
Chapters in books
- Sen, Amartya (1980), "Equality of what? (lecture delivered at Stanford University, 22 May 1979)", in MacMurrin, Sterling M. (ed.), 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 (eds.), 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 (eds.), 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 (eds.), 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. (eds.), 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. (eds.), 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" (PDF). Economic and Political Weekly. 14: 243–246.
- Sen, Amartya (January–February 1970). "The impossibility of a paretian liberal" (PDF). Journal of Political Economy. 78 (1): 152–157. doi:10.1086/259614. JSTOR 1829633. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Sen, Amartya (March 1976). "Poverty: An ordinal approach to measurement" (PDF). Econometrica. 44 (2): 219–231. doi:10.2307/1912718. JSTOR 1912718.
- Sen, Amartya (September 1979). "Utilitarianism and welfarism". The Journal of Philosophy. 76 (9): 463–489. doi:10.2307/2025934. JSTOR 2025934.
- Sen, Amartya (1986). Chapter 22 Social choice theory. Handbook of Mathematical Economics. 3. pp. 1073–1181. doi:10.1016/S1573-4382(86)03004-7. ISBN 9780444861283.
- Sen, Amartya (20 December 1990). "More than 100 million women are missing". The New York Review of Books.
- Sen, Amartya (7 March 1992). "Missing women: social inequality outweighs women's survival advantage in Asia and North Africa" (PDF). British Medical Journal. 304 (6827): 587–588. doi:10.1136/bmj.304.6827.587. PMC 1881324. PMID 1559085.
- Sen, Amartya (May 2005). "The three R's of reform". Economic and Political Weekly. 40 (19): 1971–1974. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014.
- Sen, Amartya (25 May 1997), Human Rights and Asian Values, Sixteenth Annual Morgenthau Memorial Lecture on Ethics and Foreign Policy
- 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.
- Sen, Amartya (February 1986), Food, economics and entitlements (wider working paper 1), 1986/01, Helsinki: UNU-WIDER.
Selected works in Persian
A list of Persian translations of Amartya Sen's work is available here
- Abhijit Banerjee
- Equality of autonomy, a concept of equality posed by Sen
- Feminist economics
- Human Development Index
- List of feminist economists
- Kerala model, an expression or concept invented and introduced by Sen
- Instrumental and value rationality, describing some of his differences with John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and James Gouinlock.
- 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. 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 31 October 2019.
- "Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen honoured in US". The British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- One on One - Amartya Sen, retrieved 11 June 2020
- "Amartya Sen - Biographical". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
- Riz Khan interviewing Amartya Sen (21 August 2010). One on One - Amartya Sen (Television production). Al Jazeera. Event occurs at 18:40 minutes in. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
- "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". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
- "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. 57:55 minutes in – via YouTube.
- Benicourt, Emmanuelle (1 September 2002). "Is Amartya Sen a post-autistic economist?". Post-Autistic Economics Review (15): article 4. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Sachs, Jeffrey (26 October 1998). "The real causes of famine: a Nobel laureate blames authoritarian rulers". Time. 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 (eds.), Key thinkers on space and place, London: Sage, pp. 251–257, ISBN 9780761949626. Draft
- Sen, Amartya (2010), "Equality of what?", in MacMurrin, Sterling M. (ed.), 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" (PDF). Economics Letters. 107 (2): 142–144. doi:10.1016/j.econlet.2010.01.007.
- Sen, Amartya (1998). Development as Freedom. Anchor. ISBN 978-0385720274.
- Sen, Amartya (27 October – 9 November 2001). "Many Faces of Gender Inequality". Frontline. 18 (22).
- "Amartya Sen | Indian economist". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
- "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.
- Puri, Anjali (4 March 2015). "Nalanda University: What went wrong?". Business Standard India. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
- "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". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- Coy, Peter (25 October 1998). "Commentary: The Mother Teresa of economics". Bloomberg 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.
- "Amartya Sen". WHO. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- Steele, Jonathan (31 March 2001). "The Guardian Profile: Amartya Sen". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- "Berggruen Institute". Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- "St Edmund's College - University of Cambridge". st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Amartya Sen: A Life Reexamined, A Film" (PDF). Icarus Films newsletter. Brooklyn, New York: First Run/Icarus Films. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2012.
- Gupta, Aparajita (1 January 2012). "Nobel laureate's life on silver screen". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- The Argumentative Indian, retrieved 29 October 2019
- Artist: Annabel Cullen | Subject: Amartya Sen (2001). Amartya Sen (b.1933), Master (1998–2004), Economist and Philosopher (Painting). Trinity College, University of Cambridge: Art UK.
- Artist: Antony Williams | Subject: Amartya Sen (2003). Amartya Sen (Painting). National Portrait Gallery, London.
- "প্রিয়.কম". Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
- "History of Our World in Data". Our World in Data. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
- "Narendra Modi is not a good PM candidate: Amartya Sen". NDTV.
- "Narendra Modi did give people a sense of faith that things can happen". The Indian Express.
- "Amartya Sen Quits Nalanda".
- "Not Proud As An Indian...": Amartya Sen's Critique Of Kashmir Move, NDTV, 19 August 2019.
- Kashmir without democracy not acceptable: Amartya, New Nation, 19 August 2019.
- J&K Detentions "A Classic Colonial Excuse": Amartya Sen, NDTV, 19 August 2019.
- Sen, Amartya (23 November 2001). "A world not neatly divided". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Amartya Sen speaks on culture at World Bank". Tokyo: The World Bank & 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.
- Not to be confused with Madhvacharya of Dwaitya vedanta the 13th century saint, this book is by a different philosopher of the 14th century http://www.gutenberg.org/files/34125/34125-h/34125-h.htm
- The book has not got anything to do with atheism only the first chapter is Purva paksha Mīmāṃsā of atheism, the rest of the chapters put a Purva paksha for rest of the philosophies that originated in India and the last chapter that is missing in the book and later editions touch on Advaita Vedanta. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/34125/34125-h/34125-h.htm
- "Curriculum Vitae: Amartya Sen" (PDF). Harvard University. January 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "LSE announces Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies". London School of Economics. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
- "Chapter "S"", Members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences: 1780–2013 (PDF), Cambridge, Massachusetts: American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 2013, p. 499, archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2014, retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Professor Amartya Sen receives awards from the governments of France and Mexico". Harvard University | Department of Economics. 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". The Indian Express. London. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- "Economist Amartya Sen awarded Bodley Medal". Bodleian Libraries. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- "Friedenspreis 2020 Amartya Sen" (in German). Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- Sugden, Robert (September 1986). ""Commodities and Capabilities" by Amartya Sen". The Economic Journal. 96 (383): 820–822. doi:10.2307/2232999. JSTOR 2232999. S2CID 152766121.
- Mathur, Piyush (31 October 2003). "Revisiting a classic 'Development as Freedom' by Amartya Sen". Asia Times. Archived from the original on 25 August 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Mishra, Pankaj (9 July 2005). "In defence of reason (book review)". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Tharoor, Shashi (16 October 2005). "A passage to India". The Washington Post. Washington D.C. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Sen, Amartya (17 December 1998). "Reason must always come before identity, says Sen". University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017. 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 (eds.), 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. 9 (2–3).
- Amartya Sen Biographical
- Amartya Sen at Harvard University
- Amartya Sen on Nobelprize.org
- Amartya Sen on Google Scholar
- 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