James Foster publishes blog responding to Amartya Sen’s critics

OPHI Research Associate James Foster has written a blog responding to economist Arvind Subramanian’s article “The Economic Consequences of Professor Amartya Sen” in India’s Business Standard.

Foster, who is Professor of Economics and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy at The George Washington University, posted the blog, ‘Sen and his Critics: The Momentous and the Inconsequential’, on Oxford University’s Department for International Development ‘Debating Development‘ website.

Subramanian’s article, in which he argues that redistributive policies via rights and entitlements are ultimately self-defeating, is short on causal evidence Foster writes, and the author displays a ‘vivid lack of comprehension of Sen’s work’.

Subramanian, who is a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Center for Global Development, ‘finds it difficult to accept that Sen can support freedom on one hand and public action for food on the other. Perhaps a quick read of Sen’s Development as Freedom would remind him of the notion of effective freedom, which is enhanced when a marginally nourished family now has the capability to be sufficiently nourished due to public action,’ Foster says.

You can read the blog ‘Sen and his Critics’ in full here.