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#149 Overall Influence

Amartya Sen

Indian economist and philosopher


Why is this person notable and influential?

Amartya Sen is the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. He earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Calcutta and a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D from Trinity College in Cambridge.

An expert in the study of welfare economics, Sen has an impressive bibliography showcasing his research and work. Having survived the Bengal famine of 1943 as a child, his interest in economics was piqued. In his work, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, he concluded that the cause of famine is not always just lack of food, it is just as often a breakdown in the distribution of available resources. In the case of the Bengal famine, he found that the cause of those three million deaths was not lack of food, but a time of economic surplus in urban areas that caused an increase in prices that workers could not afford.

He has also done important work in development economics, even working with the United Nations Development Program to create their Human Development Report. His most substantial contribution to economics has been his idea of “capability”. In Sen’s view, the rights a citizen has is far less important than what they have been empowered to do – their capability.

Academic Website

Featured in Top Influential Economists Today

From Wikipedia

Amartya Kumar Sen is an Indian economist and philosopher, who since 1972 has taught and worked in the United Kingdom and the United States. Sen has made contributions to welfare economics, social choice theory, economic and social justice, economic theories of famines, decision theory, development economics, public health, and measures of well-being of countries.

Source: Wikipedia

Published Works

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Other Resources


What schools is this person affiliated with?

Missouri University of Science and Technology

University in Rolla, Missouri, United States

Delhi University

Central university located in New Delhi

Oakland University


Harvard University

Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

University of Calcutta

Public state university in Kolkata, West Bengal

Jadavpur University

Public research university in Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Visva-Bharati University

Central University in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India, founded by Rabindranath Tagore

University of Cambridge

Collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

Notable Works

What contributions to academia has this person made?

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#17 World Rank
#117 World Rank
#208 World Rank
#780 World Rank