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Amartya Kumar Sen ….…….Freedom as Progress Presented by: Muhammad Jami Husain.

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Presentation on theme: "Amartya Kumar Sen ….…….Freedom as Progress Presented by: Muhammad Jami Husain."— Presentation transcript:

1 Amartya Kumar Sen ….…….Freedom as Progress Presented by: Muhammad Jami Husain

2 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).

3 Social Choice Theory ……… goes to the very foundation of Democracy  When there is a general agreement, the choices made by society are uncontroversial.  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?

4 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...”

5 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. …..Lack of entitlements, serious deprivation of certain basic 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.

6 Gender Inequality, Empowerment ………………..Missing Women  Households as a unit of cooperation as well as of inequality and internal discrimination.  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 Inequality (Decision making, intra-household food distributions, sharing of household works, child care etc)

7 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 requires the removal of major sources of unfreedom: Poverty as well as tyranny, poor economic opportunities as well as systematic social deprivation, neglect of public facilities as well as intolerance or overactivity of repressive states.  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.

8 Thank You


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