Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 121: Amartya Kumar Sen (b. 1933)
Amartya Sen was born on 3 November 1933 in Santiniketan where he went to school. From 1951 to 1953 he studied at Presidency College in Calcutta where he received a Bachelor Degree. In 1953 Sen moved to Cambridge, England, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on “The choice of techniques”. From 1963 to 1971 Sen taught at the Delhi School of Economics. In 1971, he accepted a chair at the London School of Economics. From 1977 to 1987 he held a professorship at Oxford and was Fellow at All Souls College. In 1987 Sen accepted a chair at Harvard University and became a member of both the economics department and the philosophy department. In 1998 he returned to Cambridge, England, and became “Master of Trinity College”. In the same year, he received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Sen returned to Harvard University in 2004. He published numerous books and articles both in economic theory and development economics, in philosophy, political theory and public policy, the latter with an emphasis on the history and culture of India. The Informational Basis of Social Choice Sen received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in particular for his contributions to welfare economics and the theory of social choice. The latter area has its modern origin in Arrow’s famous monograph Social Choice and Individual Values from 1951 (2nd edition 1963) where the author proved that under certain rather intuitive conditions, a so-called social welfare function does not exist. This negative...
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