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Sen, Amartya

Amartya Sen, born in 1933, is an Indian economist known for his contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, social justice, and the philosophies of freedom, well-being, and justice. Sen first gained wide recognition for his research on the origins of poverty and famines. In his 1981 book on the topic, he introduced his theory of entitlement to argue that famines are caused not by absolute food shortages, but by problems of access. Sen also developed the “capability approach,” which uses measures of individual freedoms to assess the capacity of individuals to raise themselves out of poverty. He argues that if humans are liberated from their “unfreedoms,” namely insufficient food, poor education, and meager health care, they are rendered capable of making informed decisions about ...

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