Amartya Sen is a well-known economist, author, and philosopher who has won numerous awards. He has devised practical methods to avert food shortages and starvation as a voice of the impoverished and malnourished, relentlessly absorbed in the concerns of society’s poorest citizens. This Nobel Laureate was named to Time Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Most Influential People Who Matter” after assisting in the creation of the United Nations Human Development Index. Sen’s publications have been translated into more than thirty languages around the world, making him a leading thinker. ‘Development as Freedom,’ ‘Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlements and Deprivation,’ ‘On Economic Inequality,’ ‘Inequality Reexamined,’ ‘The Argumentative Indian,’ and ‘The Idea of Justice’ are only a few of his notable works. Sen, who is currently a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, has previously held positions at the London School of Economics and Oxford University. He has received numerous awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor. This acclaimed economist, who is dedicated to reducing poverty and deprivation, is the sixth Indian to receive a Nobel Prize and the first Asian to get the Economics Prize. Continue reading this biography to learn more intriguing facts about his childhood, personal life, and achievements in the fields of writing and academia.
Childhood and Adolescence
Amartya Sen was born to Ashutosh Sen, a professor who later served as Chairman of the West Bengal Public Service Commission, and Amita Sen in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India.
He began his education at St Gregory’s School in Dhaka in 1941, and after India’s partition, his family relocated to India, where he attended the Visva-Bharati University School.
He earned a First Class Honours in B.An Economics from Presidency College in Kolkata in 1953. He obtained another B.A. at Trinity College, Cambridge, the following year.
He was appointed Professor and Head of the Economics Department at Jadavpur University, Calcutta, in 1956, when he was 23 years old. He returned to Cambridge University for his Ph.D. after two years.
He was a visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after submitting his Ph.D. thesis titled “the choice of approaches” in 1959.
He was a Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics from 1961 to 1972, and then a Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics. He was also a professor at Calcutta University.
The Career of Amartya
His first book, ‘Collective Choice and Social Welfare,’ was published in 1970 and is regarded as one of his most influential monographs, addressing questions of basic welfare, fairness, equality, and individual rights.
His book ‘On Economic Inequality,’ published in 1973, was a study of welfare economics theory in connection to the examination of economic inequality.
In his work ‘Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlements and Deprivation,’ published in 1982, he discussed the causes of food shortages, malnutrition, and a study of famines.
‘Resources, Values, and Development,’ his essay on developing economies, was published in 1984. Investment design, shadow rating, employment policy, and welfare economics were all included in the report.
‘On Ethics and Economics,’ published in 1987, was a critical essay that stated that welfare economics and modern ethical studies can benefit from each other.
He wrote the contentious piece ‘More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing’ for The New York Review of Books in 1990. The essay examines the gender gap and the factors that contribute to it.
Harvard University Press published his work ‘Inequality Reexamined’ in 1992. The book looked at the concept of inequality, focusing mostly on the ‘capacity approach.’
His Nobel Prize Lecture, titled ‘The Possibility of Social Choice,’ was published in 1998, in which he asserted that welfare economics was a central theme in social change theory.
In 1999, he published the book ‘Development as Freedom,’ in which he discussed the concepts of ‘international development’ and ‘developmental economics.’
His book ‘Rationality and Freedom,’ which is divided into two volumes on rationality, freedom, and justice, was published in 2002. He provides a clear, concise understanding of each of these principles.
His best-selling book, ‘The Argumentative Indian,’ was released in 2005. The book is a compilation of articles on India’s history and identity, as well as the importance of understanding current India and its debate culture.
Allen Lane and Harvard University Press published his book ‘The Idea of Justice’ in 2009. The book served as a primer in economic reasoning as well as a critique of John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice.’
He examines the relationship between violence, peace, and democracy in his 2011 book, ‘Peace and Democratic Society.’ He explores the concept of “organized violence,” as well as war, genocide, and terrorism.
He is currently a Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University.
Amartya’s Major Projects
The Nobel Prize committee recognized his publication ‘Development as Freedom’ as a significant contribution to economic development theory.
‘Inequality Reexamined,’ one of his seminal 1992 works, is an acclaimed book that pulled together all of the major issues of his work over a decade. He covers some of the most pressing issues of inequality in this book.
Achievements & Awards
He received the Adam Smith Prize in 1954.
He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contribution to the field of ‘welfare economics’ in 1998.
In 1999, he was honored with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
He received the National Humanities Medal in 2011.
Personal History and Legacy
He had two children with his first wife, Nabaneeta Dev Sen: Antara Sen and Nandana Sen. In 1971, the couple divorced.
He married Eva Colorni in 1973, and the couple has two children together. In 1985, she died of stomach cancer.
He married Emma Georgina Rothschild in 1991. The pair spends a lot of time on vacation in their Cambridge, Massachusetts home.
Estimated Net worth
Amartya Sen is one of the wealthiest philosophers and one of the most well-known. Amartya Sen’s net worth is estimated to be $2 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
This respected Indian writer and Bharat Ratna awardee has lived in the United States for nearly 50 years but has chosen to retain exclusively his Indian citizenship.