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Biography of Amartya Sen
Amartya Sen is an Indian economist and philosopher, born on November 3, 1933, in Santiniketan, India. He is renowned for his work in the fields of welfare economics, social choice theory, and development economics. Sen has also made significant contributions to political philosophy, ethics, and human rights.
Sen grew up in a family that valued education and social reform. His father, Ashutosh Sen, was a renowned professor of chemistry at Dhaka University, and his mother, Amita Sen, was an accomplished writer and the first woman to be awarded the Tagore Prize for literature. Sen attended Presidency College in Kolkata, where he received his undergraduate degree in economics. He went on to pursue his graduate studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he received his PhD in economics in 1959.
Sen’s work in welfare economics and social choice theory challenged the traditional economic theory of individual utility maximization. He argued that people’s well-being is influenced not only by their own preferences but also by social factors such as inequality, discrimination, and social injustice. He also introduced the concept of “capabilities,” which refers to the freedom that individuals have to pursue the kind of life they value.
Sen has written extensively on the issues of poverty, famine, and development, and his work has had a significant impact on policy-making in many developing countries. In 1998, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to welfare economics.
In addition to his work in economics, Sen has been a vocal advocate for human rights and social justice. He has written extensively on issues such as gender inequality, democracy, and political freedom. He has also been a critic of globalization, arguing that it can exacerbate inequality and harm the most vulnerable members of society.
Sen has held numerous academic positions throughout his career, including professorships at Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard. He has also served as the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and as the Chairman of the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report.
Amartya Sen remains an influential figure in economics, philosophy, and public policy. His work has had a profound impact on our understanding of poverty, inequality, and human development, and his contributions to social justice and human rights continue to inspire people around the world.