Development as Freedom
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By the winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Economics, an essential and paradigm-altering framework for understanding economic development--for both rich and poor--in the twenty-first century.
Freedom, Sen argues, is both the end and most efficient means of sustaining economic life and the key to securing the general welfare of the world's entire population. Releasing the idea of individual freedom from association with any particular historical, intellectual, political, or religious tradition, Sen clearly demonstrates its current applicability and possibilities. In the new global economy, where, despite unprecedented increases in overall opulence, the contemporary world denies elementary freedoms to vast numbers--perhaps even the majority of people--he concludes, it is still possible to practically and optimistically restain a sense of social accountability. Development as Freedom is essential reading.
credit crunch, for example, can severely affect the economic entitlements that rely on such credit. Social opportunities refer to the arrangements that society makes for education, health care and so on, which influence the individual's substantive freedom to live better. These facilities are important not only for the conduct of private lives (such as living a healthy life and avoiding preventable morbidity and premature mortality), but also for more effective participation in economic and
have been very fortunate in having wonderful collaborators. I have had the great opportunity of working for many years with Jean Dreze and of publishing several books jointly with him, which have influenced the present work (collaboration with Jean has the agree able feature that he does most of the work while making sure that you get most of the credit). It was also wonderful for me to have the chance to do joint work with Sudhir Anand, on subjects closely related to this book. I have also had
assumption of common preference and choice behavior is quite often made in applied welfare economics, and this is frequently used to jus tify the assumption that everyone has the same utility function. This is stylized interpersonal utility comparison with a vengeance. Is that presumption legitimate for the interpretation of utility as a numerical representation of preference? The answer, unfortunately, is in the negative. It is certainly true that the assumption that everyone has the same
fulfilled (through their own self-interested behavior). No assumption need be made, in this case, about what motivates the individuals' choices, since the point at issue is no longer the achievement of interest fulfillment, but the availability of freedom (no matter whether the freedom is aimed at self-interest or at some other objective). The basic analytical results ' i ' Markets> State and Social Opportunity I I9 of the Arrow-Debreu theorem are thus quite independent of the motivations
taken without incurring a penalty.... The legal rate, it is to be observed, though it ought to be somewhat above, ought not to be much above the lowest mar ket rate. If the legal rate of interest in Great Britain, for ex ample, was fixed so high as eight or ten per cent, the greater part of the money which was to be lent, would be lent to prodi gals and projectors, who alone would be willing to give this high interest. Sober people, who will give for the use of money no more than a part of