Amartya Sen

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de diciembre de 2007. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Women’s Progress Outdid China’s One-Child Policy

The abandonment of the one-child policy in China is a momentous change, and there is much to celebrate in the easing of restrictions on human freedom in a particularly private sphere of life. But we need to recognize that the big fall in fertility in China over the decades, for which the one-child policy is often credited, has, in fact, been less related to compulsion and much more to reasoned family decisions in favor of a new norm of smaller families.

This development has been particularly helped by the increasing empowerment of Chinese women through rapid expansion of schooling and job opportunities.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los seres humanos siempre han vivido en grupos, y la vida del individuo ha dependido, invariablemente, de decisiones grupales. Pero estas plantean serios desafíos, habida cuenta de que los intereses y las inquietudes de los miembros del grupo son dispares. ¿Cómo deberían tomarse las decisiones colectivas?

Un dictador podría tratar de controlar cada aspecto de las vidas de la gente, ignorando las preferencias de todos excepto él mismo. Pero lograr semejante poder no es fácil. Y sobre todo, cualquier forma de dictadura se revela enseguida como un modo terrible de gobernar una sociedad.

Así que por razones tanto éticas como prácticas, las ciencias sociales llevan mucho tiempo investigando la forma en que las decisiones colectivas pueden reflejar los intereses de los miembros de una sociedad, incluso en aquellas que no son totalmente democráticas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Modern India is, in many ways, a success. Its claim to be the world’s largest democracy is not hollow. Its media is vibrant and free; Indians buy more newspapers every day than any other nation. Since independence in 1947, life expectancy at birth has more than doubled, to 66 years from 32, and per-capita income (adjusted for inflation) has grown fivefold. In recent decades, reforms pushed up the country’s once sluggish growth rate to around 8 percent per year, before it fell back a couple of percentage points over the last two years. For years, India’s economic growth rate ranked second among the world’s large economies, after China, which it has consistently trailed by at least one percentage point.…  Seguir leyendo »

If proof were needed of the maxim that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the economic crisis in Europe provides it. The worthy but narrow intentions of the European Union’s policy makers have been inadequate for a sound European economy and have produced instead a world of misery, chaos and confusion.

There are two reasons for this.

First, intentions can be respectable without being clearheaded, and the foundations of the current austerity policy, combined with the rigidities of Europe’s monetary union (in the absence of fiscal union), have hardly been a model of cogency and sagacity. Second, an intention that is fine on its own can conflict with a more urgent priority — in this case, the preservation of a democratic Europe that is concerned about societal well-being.…  Seguir leyendo »

Europa ha sido la guía del mundo en la práctica de la democracia. Es preocupante, por tanto, que, al irrumpir por la puerta trasera de las prioridades financieras, los peligros para la gobernabilidad democrática no estén recibiendo en estos tiempos la atención que deberían. Hay cuestiones profundas que deben afrontarse acerca de la forma en que puede verse afectado el gobierno democrático de Europa por el papel, enormemente acrecentado, de las instituciones financieras y agencias de calificación, que en la actualidad mandan sin ninguna clase de restricciones sobre zonas de ámbito político de Europa.

Es preciso que distingamos entre dos cuestiones diferentes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Almost six months ago, at a moment of great alarm about the global financial and economic crisis, G20 leaders met for a historic summit in London. Their collective commitments to stimulate, regulate and restructure global economic activity helped to calm nerves around the world.

Many of the problems that spurred that summit remain real. Anxiety levels may have come down in boardrooms and stock markets, but the daily drama for survival continues. Indeed, for many in the world's least developed countries it has deepened – particularly in Africa.

The United Nations and the World Bank predict that the direct and indirect effects of the economic meltdown will be felt in the developing world for a long time to come.…  Seguir leyendo »

Will the food crisis that is menacing the lives of millions ease up — or grow worse over time? The answer may be both. The recent rise in food prices has largely been caused by temporary problems like drought in Australia, Ukraine and elsewhere. Though the need for huge rescue operations is urgent, the present acute crisis will eventually end. But underlying it is a basic problem that will only intensify unless we recognize it and try to remedy it.

It is a tale of two peoples. In one version of the story, a country with a lot of poor people suddenly experiences fast economic expansion, but only half of the people share in the new prosperity.…  Seguir leyendo »