Nobel laureate Amartya Sen will speak today

Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen will speak Friday at 4 p.m. in the Goodson Chapel on “The Uses and Abuses of Adam Smith.”

Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University professor and professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University, is the keynote speaker for a two-day series of events honoring Crauford Goodwin, James B. Duke professor of economics, for his 40 years at the helm of History of Political Economy—the scholarly journal was the first to be devoted to the history of economics. Goodwin has been its only editor since its inception.

Sen won the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in welfare economics—the study of how economic policies affect the well-being of communities.

Born in present-day Bangladesh, Sen is known as the “Mother Teresa of Economics” for his work on the underlying economic principles of poverty, famine and gender inequality. His book “Collective Choice and Social Welfare” criticized the mainstream economic principles of the time that valued efficiency over economic equality and justice.

 He has spent most of his adult life in academia, with professorships at Calcutta, Jadavpur University, Delhi School of Economics as well as renowned American universities like Cornell, Stanford, Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Today’s event is sponsored by the Center for the History of Political Economy, Department of Economics, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Duke University Press, the Trent Foundation, Divinity School, Office of International Affairs and the Johnson Lecture Fund.

Nobel prize-winning economist Vernon Smith will also deliver a speech Saturday as part of the conference.


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