Slide 1 - Convenite

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Amartya Kumar Sen
….…….Freedom as Progress
Presented by: Muhammad Jami Husain
Research Area and Contributions of the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen
 He successful Bridges philosophy, ethics, and economics, in the process
tackling some of the most critical themes of development.
 His research has ranged over a number of fields in economics, philosophy, and
decision theory.
…………………… Including social choice theory , welfare economics, theory of
measurement, development economics, moral and political philosophy, and
the economics of peace and war.
 Nobel Prize in Economics (1998) for his contributions in the fields of social
choice theory, welfare economics and economic measurement.
……………………making inroads into the assessment of poverty and the
evaluation of inequality – making possible better social welfare comparisons
– and changing the way governments prevent and combat famines.
 Some of his famous books, among many others, include:
…………………. Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), On Economic
Inequality (1973, 1997), Poverty and Famines (1981), Choice, Welfare and
Measurement (1982), Resources, Values and Development (1984), On Ethics
and Economics (1987), Inequality Reexamined (1992), Development as
Freedom (1999), and Rationality and Freedom (2002).
Social Choice Theory………goes to the very foundation of Democracy
 When there is a general agreement, the choices made by society are
 When Opinions differ, the problem is to find methods for bringing
together different opinions in decisions that concern everyone.
………….The fundamental question is whether, - and if so, in what way –
preferences for society as a whole can consistently be derived from the
preferences of its members.
 Sen used Social Choice theory to answer questions such as following:
When would majority rule yield unambiguous and consistent decisions?
How can we judge how well a society as a whole is doing in the light of
the disparate interests of its members?
How do we measure overall poverty in view of varying predicaments and
miseries of the diverse people that make up the society?
How can we accommodate individuals’ rights and liberties while giving
adequate recognition to their preferences?
Measurement of Poverty……Rejection of traditional measurements
 Traditionally, GDP and GNP was the measure of income, output and poverty:
……….. They failed to capture income distribution issues
……….. A person‘s well being and freedom depend on many non-income
influences, such as disability, propesity towards and exposure to diseases, the
absence of schools.
 In 1976, he proposed new measures of poverty that would take into account
“relative deprivation”
…………….. Sen index, Human Development Index (HDI- used by UNDP), Human
Poverty Index (HPI).
…………….. Inspired subsequent evolution of poverty concepts in the 1980s and
1990s: Powerlessness and isolation; Vulnerability and Security; Livelihood;
Entitlement, capabilities and functioning; Gender Empowerment.
 Inspired by Sen, UNDP developed the idea of human development flagging
the issues related to,
“….. the denial of opportunities and choices… to lead a long, healthy,
creative life and to enjoy a decent standard of living, freedom, dignity, self-
esteem and the respect of others...”
Economics of Famines and Hunger………Entitlement Approach
 Entitlement, capabilities and functionings:
……The notion of food entitlement, or access, emphasized that income
was only valuable in so far as it increased the ‘capabilities’ of
individuals and thereby permitted ‘functionings’ in society.
 Decline in food supply is not the cause of famine, rather deeply rooted
to the nature of the social relations and interactions
……People who suffered in famine were not only those on the lowest
rung of economic ladder but also those whose economic means had
suddenly declined for one reason or another.
capabilities. Famine results from the working of the economic system in
allocating the ability of people to acquire goods.
 Various contingencies can lead to variations in the “conversion” of
income into the capability to live a minimally acceptable life:
……… Personal heterogeneities
……… Environmental diversities
……… Variations in the social climate
……… Customary patterns of consumption in particular societies.
Gender Inequality, Empowerment………………..Missing Women
Households as a unit of cooperation as well as of inequality and internal
Analysis of “Missing Women”: the millions of women in China, India, North
Africa, and West Asia who die prematurely every year as a result of
inequality of health care, domestic neglect, or social negligence.
Many faces of gender inequality:
1. Mortality Inequality (Health care and nutrition)
2. Natality Inequality (Preference for boys over girls)
3. Basic Facility Inequality (Deprivation of schooling, participation in
social functions of the community
4. Special Opportunity Inequality (In higher education system, politics)
5. Professional Inequality (Deprivation in terms of employment contracts
and promotions)
6. Ownership Inequality (Asymmetric distribution of Asset ownership)
7. Household
distributions, sharing of household works, child care etc)
Democracy, freedom of Choice and Development as Freedom
 No famine had ever occurred in a democracy.
 In a democracy, information spreads more quickly and public
criticism comes more easily, making a quick response by the
government to extreme events essential.
 Development should be seen as a process of expanding the real
freedoms that people enjoy.
 Development
opportunities as well as systematic social deprivation, neglect of
public facilities as well as intolerance or overactivity of repressive
 The expansion of women’s capabilities not only enhances
women’s own freedom and well-being, but also has many positive
effects on the lives of all – women as well as men - children as
well as adults.
Thank You