Unfashionable economics selected contributions of Amartya K. Sen: 1998 economics nobel laureate

Pundarik Mukhopadhaya, Srikanta Chatterjee

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Professor Amartya Kumar Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics in 1998 in recognition of his "several key contributions to the research on fundamental problems in welfare economics", as noted in the Nobel citation. This paper examines three major areas of economics, which it calls "unfashionable economics", and in which Sen’s contributions have been particularly notable. These areas are inequality, poverty, and hunger and famine. The paper argues that Sen’s pioneering research in these areas has not only helped to resolve some theoretical and/or policy issues, it has also made a significant contribution to generating public interest in the problems that face some of "the most impoverished members of society ", in the words of the Nobel citation. In addition to putting Sen’s work in the context of established thinking in the relevant areas, the paper demonstrates how his contributions have helped to improve our understanding of the issues involved, and how such advances have influenced policy-making. To make the paper accessible to the interested non-specialist, the paper uses a style of exposition that is less technical even where the issues involved are of a highly technical nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-52
Number of pages28
JournalNew Zealand Economic Papers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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