Covid-19 Update: We've taken precautionary measures to enable all staff to work away from the office. These changes have already rolled out with no interruptions, and will allow us to continue offering the same great service at your busiest time in the year.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Sen’s Theory of Development

2681 words (11 pages) Essay in Economics

18/05/20 Economics Reference this

Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. You can view samples of our professional work here.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

1.      Abstract

The first Asian and Indian economist who win the Nobel Prize in Economics, Amartya Sen argues that human development is highly connected with citizen’s capabilities (Corbridge, S. 2002). His impact in economics is significant. Economist Amartya Sen contributed in different social fields such as welfare economics, social choice theory, economic and social justice, economic theories of famines as well as developing the indexes of the measure of well-being of citizens of developing countries.

In the history of development economics, economic issues such as GDP has been thought of as a key factor. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in social factors influencing economic development. Sen states that ultimate goal of development and economic growth is extension of freedoms as well as through expanding and increasing these freedoms will help nations to develop (Sen, 2010). According to the Sen, freedom indicates expanding nation’s access and opportunities, therefore lead the country to the higher development.

Broader perspective has been adopted by Uvin, who argues that Sen’s theory lacks politically based analysis which proves the approach (Uvin, 2010). This paper will review the strengths and weaknesses of Sen’s theory of development as freedom.

2.      Survey of literature must cover relevant theoretical and empirical papers that deal with the chosen topic including any gaps that you can identify

Sen’s study hugely impact on the update of new idea in social economics early in 2000s. In this respect, development is not only consider the economic issues but also it tightly connected with the human rights as a basic part (Uvin, 2010). Sen has targeted on the well-being of those at the backside of society, not the effectivity of these at the top (Longworth, 1999)

According to the Sen, freedom is expands by democracy and the human rights. Sen stated that if increase of poor people income has positive effect in the enlargement of their freedoms. A certain study, development of freedom indicated that freedom identifies sustainability of economics and ensuring general welfare of the country’s nation. Sen evidently reveals applicability and possibilities of awareness of individual freedom in political, historical, intellectual or religious tradition. Prior research of Sen suggests that different types of unfreedom limits the human’s choice and opportunity in that case eliminating that unfreedom could lead to the development (Sen, 1999) For Sen, freedom means expanding people’s access and prospects to the basic needs for social activities. The underlying concept is that governments of developing countries decrease public funding in education, household, healthcare and social welfare in results economic growth wouldn’t provided as poor and non-educated nation could not produce at high rates. Sen’s research indicates that capacity approach or functioning that need to achieve. Sen recognized between well-being and organization, vital to recognize ‘other-regarding’ values as well. The capability approach discusses the world-known popular views. He manages to convince sceptical economists that social desire and public discussion is both feasible and indispensable (Evans, 2012).

Another study attempts to crystallize famine factors which hindering economics. Sen cautions the peruse that destitution, unfulfilled basic needs, the event of starvations, the infringement of political opportunities and disregard of the office of ladies stay nowadays in spite of ‘unpresented opulence’ (Sen, 1999) His approach emphases on human thriving as the section point to the issue of destitution and worldwide imbalance instead of economic and social development (Reid-Henry 2012). As mentioned above, Sen’s study developed several key ideas in economics. For instance, Sen’s idea of study effected on Millennium Development Goals and this mentioned in the “In Larger Freedom” report about human rights and freedom by The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. (2005)

On the other hands there are several studies that critics the Sen’s thesis and one of them is Lains et al (2000) article. The central issue addressed here is the relationship between market and government intervention and regulation. Sen’s definition of democracy is subsequently or maybe nonexclusive and his definition of dictatorship rather unclear. Even though Adam Smith and Marx’s theories of government interventions are ultimate, they partially right and therefor state plays a basic part in replicating course relations in any society (Navarro.V, 2000).

Sen appeared his regular shrewdness and sharp judgment in keeping his contention carefully centred and, so, rich and compelling. In any case, the understanding and interest of “development as freedom” must go past the contentions he lays out. Without a doubt, without conceivable outcomes for collective mobilization formal races as well effectively gotten to be an empty joke.

3.      In-depth investigation of areas of key area(s)

Sen studied and published many ideas on his books, in very general term, that the main research topis is development is freedom. According to the Sen, freedom is not only the goal but also achievement indicator of the development. Sen (1990) determined 5 types of freedoms.

  1. Political freedom is availability for citizen to choose who or which parties will lead in governments and to complain or express own opinions to authorities. Also this term includes uncensored press freedom.
  2. Economic facilities are possibilities to have, to own and to use financial funding’s to consume, produce or change. In this type of freedom, Sen also defined the freedom to participate in markets such us selling or buying human or property source.
  3. Social opportunities include availabilities to receive services in education, health and other social welfare areas. These opportunities will lead people to a better life and to allow to participate effectively in economic and political activities.
  4. Transparent guarantees ensure all types of freedom and transparency in economic and political activities including financial accountability.
  5. Protective security is social safety prevention to protect people from misery, famine and social discrimination.

There is another famous five freedoms defined by President Franklin Roosevelt which are freedom from hunger, freedom from ignorance and disease, freedom to organize and vote, freedom to choose among political options, and freedom from want and need. Although, these results differ from Sen’s theory, they are ordered by distinct priority. Nevertheless, Sen concerned more on relationship among these five freedoms (Navarro, 2003). In this study, he also identified sources of freedom: poverty and tyranny, social deprivation, deprived economic opportunity and intolerance as well as scarcity of public facilities. Based on this Sen’s determination of freedom is “Availability of food, health care, sanitation, clean water, gender equality, functional education, employment, social security, political liberty, basic civil rights” (Sen, 1999). However, food is essential for human life and helps citizen to involve actively in social life at the same time reading capability develops better person McPherson (1992).

According to the Navarro, a main weakness regarding his five freedoms is presence of the theory relating the findings. Sen explained study within the classical economic theory of Adam Smith, in which the person is the challenge and object of analysis; collective retailers and topics such as social instructions do no longer appear, nor does any evaluation of what articulates these collective retailers such as exploitation or domination. Even tough, some studies suggest that Sen’s research is based on the evidence of his origin country, Bangladesh, so in some other non-democratic or developed countries this statement is not applicable.

In the history of development economics, approach of capabilities has been thought of as a key factor in freedom as development. The key contribution Sen presented in this approach is the idea of two key factors which are capabilities and functioning. Capabilities are the unique mix of functioning that a person can gain but additionally represents their freedom to select distinct functioning. Functioning are “the number of matters an individual may also fee and have reason to fee doing or being” (Alkire, 2008). Thus, for Sen and his abilities strategy the purpose then for actual development in human improvement is to enlarge the people freedom and capabilities which he argues as both the ability and ends improvement. However, Sen does not distinctively identify any fundamental capability or freedom as an indispensable groundwork for an individual’s well-being or development. Sen does now not tricky the vital movements or evaluations that desires to observe for sustainable development after the freedom and skills of people are accelerated.

Another one of the popular impact of Sen in economics is the effect on creating human development index. Development topic is one of the most widely used groups of not only economists but also politicians and have been extensively used to measure the country’s achievement in prosperity and development comparing to the other countries. Human development index is worldwide known and accepted measurement of normative to evaluate country’s development and nation’s wellbeing especially youths’ welfare. This standard includes life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living and gross domestic product of each country. According to Paul Streeten, this approach which takes account in basic needs of people such as food, education and health and social issues, that expands these ends, even when conservatively measured rates of return on these investments come out to be zero (Streeten, 1994).

4.      Conclusions and implications your main findings and what these findings mean for theory, policy and applications

Amartya Sen is one of the inspiring economist and thinker of the last 30 years, Nobel Prize winner, researcher in economics and political science mainly contributed in nation’s wellbeing and economics inequality. As Sen has huge impact in development economics and contributed in capabilities theory not only in economics but also in other social fields, one’s theory couldn’t be perfect.

Last century development was considered to be as industrial development which measured by net value of the product or per capita ta basis. Maybe with a note, particularly in the 1990s, of the need for some legal and institutional growth, in particular the protection of property rights and the settlement of conflicts. Sen, on the other hand, claims that such developmental concepts are intensely. While not denying the significance of growing production and per capita revenue, particularly in poor developed nations, he claims for a wider development objective: to enhance the ability of all human beings to accomplish the stuff they value most. Of course, higher revenue improves such capacities in important ways, so it is an important growth element. However it is not the main part. Even though country earns more money. If country don’t invest in sectors such as education, health and social welfare as well as political participation for wellbeing and basic need of the country, then development can’t be provided fully. It can be admitted that all of these precious characteristics are more likely to be available to individuals with greater incomes while, as Sen does insisting that greater incomes are not adequate to ensure growth — only essential. It is apparent point of view. Indeed, the book’s entire tone is so modest and unassuming that Sen’s arguments usually seem apparent once they’ve been produced. His thesis, however, has radical consequences. Development should be seen, Sen starts, “as a method of extending people’s true liberties”. “Development therefore needs the elimination of significant sources of unfreedom: poverty as well as tyranny, bad financial prospects as well as systematic social deprivation, neglect of government services as well as repressive states ‘ intolerance or over activity.”

In maintaining his argument closely concentrated and therefore elegant and convincing, Sen showed his usual wisdom and astute judgment. However, understanding and pursuing “growth as liberty” must go beyond the arguments that it puts forward. As the global political economy moves ever more determinedly towards establishing more fully market-based financial relationships, analysts need to concentrate more carefully on how to prevent market-based power inequalities from undermining “development as freedom.” (Denis O.Hearn, 2009).

Within the economics discipline, he was extremely effective in arousing the profession’s interest in the problems he focused on, substantially influencing the subject’s development.

In the history of development economics, approach of capabilities has been thought of as a key factor in freedom as development. The key contribution Sen presented in this approach is the idea of two key factors which are capabilities and functioning. Capabilities are the unique mix of functioning that a person can gain but additionally represents their freedom to select distinct functioning. Functioning are “the number of matters an individual may also fee and have reason to fee doing or being” (Alkire, 2008). Thus, for Sen and his abilities strategy the purpose then for actual development in human improvement is to enlarge the people freedom and capabilities which he argues as both the ability and ends improvement. However, Sen does not distinctively identify any fundamental capability or freedom as an indispensable groundwork for an individual’s well-being or development. Sen does now not tricky the vital movements or evaluations that desires to observe for sustainable development after the freedom and skills of people are accelerated (Adam, 2017).

Another one of the popular impact of Sen in economics is the effect on creating human development index. Development topic is one of the most widely used groups of not only economists but also politicians and have been extensively used to measure the country’s achievement in prosperity and development comparing to the other countries. Human development index is worldwide known and accepted measurement of normative to evaluate country’s development and nation’s wellbeing especially youths’ welfare. This standard includes life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living and gross domestic product of each country. Sen had an essential effect on development discussions and policy however this is an important issue for future study.

5.      References

  • Adam Płachciak. (2017). Sen’s concept of development as freedom and the idea of sustainable development. Annales Etyka w Życiu Gospodarczym, 20(6), 147–156.
  • Alkire, S. and Foster, J. (2011). Understandings and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement. The Journal of Economic Inequality, 9(2), 289-314.
  • Annan, K. A. (2005). “In larger freedom” decision time at the UN. Foreign affairs, 84(3), 63–74.
  • Corbridge, S. (2002). Development as freedom: the spaces of Amartya Sen. Progress in Development Studies, 2(3), 183–217.
  • Denis O’Hearn. (2009). Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom: Ten Years Later. Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, 8, 9–15.
  • Evans, R., Evans, Mariah, Makoba, Johnson, & Ostergard, Robert. (2016). Analyzing the Association between High Human-Capital Emigration Rates and Economic Development. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
  • McPherson, M. (1992) Amartya Sen, In W. Samuels (Ed) New Horizons in Economic Thought: appraisals of leading economists. (pp. 294-309) Hampshire, Edward Elgar
  • Lains, P., Pinilla, V., & Liebowitz, J. (2010). Agriculture and economic development in Europe since 1870. Journal of economic history.
  • Longworth, J. W., & Kada, R. (1990). Sustainable Agricultural Development. Journal of Rural Problems, 26(4-5), 159–159.
  • Navarro, V. (2000). Development and quality of life: A critique of Amartya Sen’s Development as freedom. International Journal of Health Services, 30(4), 661–674.
  • Reid‐Henry, S. (2007). Exceptional Sovereignty? Guantánamo Bay and the Re‐Colonial Present. Antipode, 39(4), 627–648.
  • Sen, A. (2000). Development as freedom. New York: Anchor Books.
  • Sen, A. (1993a). Capability and Well-Being. In M. Nussbaum & A. Sen, The Quality of Life (pp.30-53). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Sen, A. (1993b). Markets and Freedom: Achievements and Limitations of the Market Mechanism in Promoting Individual Freedoms. Oxford Economic Papers, 45(4), 519 541.
  • Sen, A. (1990). Gender and cooperative conflict. In I. Tinker, Persistent Inequalities (pp. 123 149). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Streeten, P. (1994). Strategies for human development : global poverty and unemployment. Copenhagen, Denmark: Handelshojskolens Forlag.
  • Uvin, P., & ProQuest. (2004). Human rights and development. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.
Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Find out more

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please: