This omnibus consists of three outstanding works by two of the world's finest development economists. Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze explore the economic, social, and political roots of deprivation in the modern world, and the role of public action in addressing this problem.
Poverty and Famines, first published in 1981, is Sen's classic exposition of the entitlement approach to the analysis of hunger and deprivation. This approach focuses on the ability of a person to acquire food and other relevant commodities within the prevailing economic, social and legal arrangements. The implications of this approach are illustrated through detailed case studies.
In Hunger and Public Action, the focus shifts from the causation of hunger and famines to their prevention. The central theme here is that public action has a crucial role to play in eradicating famines as well as endemic hunger. This study also explores related issues such as the strategy of famine prevention, the connections between economic growth and public support, class and gender conflicts, and the role of adversarial politics.
Indian: Economic Development and Social Opportunity builds on this conceptual framework to discuss India's achievements and failures since independence. The importance of basic education in development is a recurrent theme of this study. The authors also stress the complementarities between public action and the market mechanism, much neglected in the ongoing debate on liberalization.
Taken together, these three studies form a uniquely rich investigation of the causes and remedies of deprivation in the modern world. Written in an accessible style, this collection is priority reading for all those who are interested in the human face of development.