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Amartya Sens Contribution to Development Economics

MEGHNAD DESAI ABSTRACT Amartya Sen has been writing about development issues since the mid-1950s, most notably, but far from exclusively, in the 1960s. As a young man he was in uenced by Tagore, by Nehru and by his teachers in Calcutta and Cambridge. He generally adopted an anti-market, anti-neoclassical stance. In the period 195776 Sen worked on choice of techniques, surplus labour in Indian agriculture and the rationale for import substitution in Indian planning; a group of issues relating to pervasive suboptimality, which led to development of the concept of shadow pricing. The second phase came from 1976 onwards when there was a shift from suboptimality to what can be termed humane economics, which challenges conventional utility theory. It began with applied work on the Bengal famine, leading to the concept of entitlement, and branched outwards into intensive studies of poverty and deprivation. The end result is the creation of a new set of concepts in economics and philosophy with human concerns at the centre. This by passes many central preoccupations of economists and shifts work on development on to new ground. 1. Introduction The range, the depth and the impact of Amartya Sens work in development economics are immense and far reaching. In one sense, his work on social choice or moral philosophy or on inequality and poverty is intimately connected with his work on development economics and it is hard to separate out certain writings as development. But an attempt can be made, despite all inherent limitations, to map out this territory at more than the journalistic level used elsewhere (Desai, 2000). To begin with, let me make another arti. cial distinction. This is between early Amartya Sen, say from the mid-1950s to early 1970s, and then from the mid-1970s work on the Bengal famine (1977) onwards. In the . rst phase are many of Amartyas writings which pertain to India and are programmatic in terms of their policy prescriptions, (e.g. the UNIDO Manual, Sen et al., 1972). They are, as I hope to show, bound together by a single vision, though this vision changes in a subtle but fundamental way in the later period. The 1970s also see a lessening of Amartyas activities in this sphere. If we go by the classi. cation adopted by the editors of the Sen Festschrift (Basu et al., 1995), he had seven articles on development in the decade ending in 1959, 23 in the decade ending in 1969 but only(!) 12 in the decade ending in 1979 and 12 again in the next decade. Thus, we see a lot of activity in the . rst half in this area, which then decelerates in the 1970sthough of course only relatively to what it was in the 1960s. 2. Major Influences Before I come to the . rst period let me spend a bit of time describing the major in uences as I see them on the young Amartya Sen when he started writing economics in his twenties. There is clearly the early in uence of Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Laureate, and a towering . gure in Bengal and India in the . rst half of this century, though little remembered now. Amartyas name, which is unique, was coined by Tagore as his grandfather worked in Santiniketan where Amartya spent a lot of his early life and which he still visits every year. Tagore was a humanist, a patriot who was not a nationalist but an internationalist, and a modernist, secular person. The notion of serving humanity and the need for taking a non-instrumentalist view of activity were basic to Tagore and have been inherited by Amartya. Among his many writings, he managed to publish a long essay on Tagore. (Sen, 1997) Another in uence, I guess, must have been Nehru, who was PrimeMinister of India through much of Amartyas teens and twenties (194764). Nehru was also an internationalist and a humanist, but he was also . ercely ambitious for India and its status in the world. He was committed to a programme of Indian economic development through planning and to that end commissioned P.C. Mahalanobis, a Bengali intellectual who was a world-class statistician as well as being a poet and a physicist, to be the pioneer of Indian planning. The plans basic model dominated the economic debate from the time it came out (Mahalanobis, 1955). Mahalanonbis had used a two-sector and then a four-sector model of the economy in the style of Feldman to argue for a capital-intensive strategy concentrating on building up a machine making sector in India. The debate around this model split into Left/Right divisions, with the Left backing Mahalanobis/Nehrus choice of basic industry priority at the expense (though this was not admitted) of employment and consumer goods growth. The Mahalanobis strategy, along with the later protectionist trade policy, remained the norm in India until the early 1990s, when it was abandoned in the face of a crisis of reserves. The wisdom of adopting the strategy, or at least of sticking to it for 35 years, remains an area

of controversy to this day in India (see the papers by Bhagwati (1998), Desai (1998) and Sen (1998) in Ahluwalia & Little (1998). The other in uences on Amartya must have been, of course, his economics teachers both in Presidency College, Calcutta, and Cambridge. The accent in both places was theoretical but not neoclassical, except perhaps for Prof. A. K. Dasgupta who, while not formally his teacher, did in uence Amartya. The prevailing mood was anti-market if not anti-neoclassical (in the 1950s these two were not identical) but always theoretical. Thus, market failure was assumed to be pervasive but also capable of being studied mathematically by using techniques of optimization such as linear or non-linear programming. At Cambridge, Joan Robinson, Nicholas Kaldor, Richard Kahn, Maurice Dobb and Piero Sraffa were dominant and engaged on their . erce assault on neoclassical economics and bastard (i.e. anyone not from Cambridge, UK) Keynesians. Joan was writing The Accumulation of Capital in this period and though Amartya was never caught in the capital controversy (except for his witty contribution in 1974), the growth models and capital theoretic notions of Cambridge in the 1950s must have reinforced the anti-market/anti-neoclassical tendencies fostered in India. (At a meeting in the LSE on an occasion to felicitate him, Amartya argued against this point when I put it to the assembled audience. He said that Maurice Dobb was being dismissed as a neoclassical economist because of his interest in welfare economics and that his wagon was hitched to Dobbs rather than to Sraffa/Robinsons. If this was so, the neoclassical economics of Dobb was concerned with market imperfections within the neoclassical Cambridge tradition. I remain sceptical of this, however.) 3. Major Themes in the First Period, 195776 It is against this background that I wish to consider three major themes in Amartyas work in the . rst half of 195776. They are: choice of techniques, the subject of his Prize Fellowship Dissertation and PhD at Trinity College Cambridge; surplus labour in Indian agriculture; and the rationale for import substitution of the type implied by the basic sector strategy in Indian planning. From a speci. c Indian context these themes develop into general theoretical contributions. Thus, the surplus labour theme is incorporated in the UNIDO Manual on Project Evaluation, which was most in uential in the 1970s and later in planning. These three themes are dealt within a uni. ed framework of what I shall label pervasive suboptimality The model is of an economy which has suboptimal savings or surplus labour whose marginal product is not equal to its market price or which has a non-shiftable constraint on the export earningsall of which make the adoption of laissez-faire or market-oriented policies the wrong choice. It is not surprising that such is the vision because this was also at that time the Harvard/MIT paradigm, notable in Francis Bators Anatomy of market failure, which became classic reading (Bator, 1958). Also, for any Indian economist of Amartyas vintage this was the obvious position. The technical elegance of neoclassical economics with its optimizing framework had to be learnt, but with all the imperfections and second best arguments as well. James Meade had just then, in the mid-1950s, published Trade and Welfare (Meade, 1955), which is about second best, and Lipsey and Lancaster wrote their general theory of the second best article at about this time (Lipsey & Lancaster, 1956). So, second best was where neoclassical economics was at. Amartyas contemporaries from the subcontinent Mahbub ul Haq, Jagdish Bhagwati, V K Ramaswami, Sukhamoy Chakravartywere all signed up to this vision despite some slight Left/Right variations among them. 3.1 Choice of Techniques Of course the main topic of concern was growth, not just allocation of resources. Thus, Indias development plans were not just of academic interest to this generation; they de. ned their passionate concern as dedicated economists. Harrod-Domar had already been around for a few years by the time of Amartyas studies at Cambridge. Solow, Swan and Meade happened while he was there, and Kaldors seminal article on distribution also dates from this time (references are in Solow, 1987). Amartyas chosen Fellowship topic on choice of techniques combines growth and distribution, with distribution being at this time factor distribution, not interpersonal distribution. It was inspired by debates within India about the importance of small-scale industries as a sector to be protected and to be invested in for supply of consumer goods as envisaged by the planning model of Mahalanobis. The question of capital intensity of techniques was taken up by others outside India (a full bibliography is in the preface to the third edition of Choice of Techniques (Sen, 1968)). The simple neoclassical argument was that labour surplus economies should adopt labour-intensive technologies, thus exploiting

relative factor price advantage. This, of course, presumed a continuous isoquant, the very bone of contention that Joan Robinson was raising in her writings around this time (mid-1950s). But there was also a con ict between maximizing employment in the immediate run as against maximizing surplus and hence savings for future growth. So the static and the dynamic policy predictions deviated from each other. But surplus labour was in itself a contentious notion. In the 1950s, Nurkse, Lewis and many economists in India (Vakil and Brahmananda of Bombay) disagreed about how prevalent surplus labour/zero marginal productivity was (Nurkse, 1953; Lewis, 1954; Vakil & Brahmananda, 1956). The hard school (Chicago type, though this became a label only in the 1960s) denied the existence of surplus labour (see Schultz (1964) in particular, and Amartyas empirical refutation of Schultz using the 1919 in uenza data for India in 1967). The soft neoclassicals asserted its existence and regarded it as a sign of signi. cant market failure and a resource to be harnessed. Amartya was the . rst economist, as far as I can see, who established the shadow price calculations for surplus labour on a sound footing. Thus, in choosing programmes for development the pricing of labour at its appropriate shadow price (of zero or at least a fraction of the market price) rather than the market real wage was a major theme of this . rst period of Amartyas work on development. The UNIDO Manual is the best used example of this. Thus serious analytical optimizing work could be and was combined within a market failure paradigm. To be neoclassical was not, in the 1950s at least, to be a believer in free and perfect markets. That would come later. Choice of techniques was a hot topic in the 1950s and early 1960s. In a standard neoclassical framework, the choice was entirely dictated by relative prices of capital and labour. But there was already a realization that in developing (underdeveloped or backward as they were often called) countries, this may not be the right answer. India as a large underdeveloped country profusely supplied with good economists in uenced the debate on this point quite a lot. Thus, underdeveloped and labour surplus became almost synonymous. With surplus labour and a positive (even subsistence) wage there was obviously a market failure. But in a growth context there is the issue not only of static allocation ef. ciency, but also of dynamic consistency with a maximal growth path. Thus, one may choose a technique to maximize the reinvestible surplus rather than minimize factor costs. This second consideration is not of market failure but of the con ict between static and dynamic ef. ciency. At the optimum and if the economy can always stay on the optimum path, there is no reason to take reinvestment as specially privileged. Consumption and investment are equally important in the social welfare function. Amartyas Fellowship dissertation on Choice of Techniques was published as a book in 1960, and went through two more editions within the decade (Sen, 1968). In this book he manages to mount a sustained assault on neoclassical theory, but entirely within an optimizing perspective. But he puts marginalism in its proper place. One can maximize without falling into the marginalist trap. This is done by making the problem a dynamic general equilibrium one. As Amartya says in the preface to the third edition, The determination of the optimum size of total savings and that of the optimum capital-intensity of investment are interdependent problems In such an exercise, the degree of capital intensity, the share of investment, and the relative weights on investment and consumption all have to be solved together as interdependent problems (Sen, 1968, p. xiii) This lesson was fully absorbed in the development literature and the UNIDO Manual disseminated it to policy-makers across the Third World. 3.2 The Indian Economy Another though lesser known (at least outside India or by Indianists) strand of Amartyas work in the late 1950s and early 1960s is on the Indian economy. He is, for example, the . rst economist to have produced estimates of working capital in India(!) (Sen, 1964). A more in uential piece was his article with K.N. Raj, who was to become his colleague at the Delhi School of Economics (Raj & Sen, 1961). This article assumed that India was to face stagnant export earnings. Given that constraint, what were the investment strategies to be adopted? This export pessimism was then widely fashionable and Raj and Sen were only deriving its consequences. We shall, in fact, make the extreme assumption in this paper that there is no scope for increasing the earnings from exports (p. 44). Later in his essay in the Manmohan Singh Festschrift, Sen acknowledges that the empirical basis for export pessimism could be and was questioned (by Manmohan Singh in his 1964 study of export trends) but maintains that doing growth theory on a closed economy assumption was hardly unusual in those days (Sen 1998). But since a number of Asian countries developing 10 years later found export markets

for their light manufactures, the article was perhaps too in uential, though admittedly it was not the only one of its kind in those days. It was a short distance from export pessimism to autarky, which is what became the norm in India. Import control was ineffective and inef. cient. But discouragement of exports, especially of manufactures, became a . rm pillar of policy. Though it is not the fault of Raj and Sen, Indias policy-makers ruined their manufactured textiles industry which could have become an engine for growth. 3.3 Indian Agricultural Debates Amartya has never been involved in actual policy advice, let alone policy-making. It must have been very dif. cult in Delhi in the 1960s, with all other economists presumed to be available for policy advice. He maintained his academic independence; but his article on agricultural productivity (Sen, 1962) was to be very central to the debates on Indias agricultural policy. If you de. ne a seminal article by the number of others it generates, the Economic Weekly piece must rank high since it set off a 15-year debate on the question of size and productivity. The background to the article is as follows. Before independence it was recognized that agricultural productivity in India was low. Various reasons were given for thistenurial relations, low levels of technology and the small size as well as fragmentation of the cultivating unit. The size question became very lively because the Congress Agrarian Reforms Committee in its Report (1949) advocated that after land tenure rights had been given to the tenant cultivator, there should be a pooling of land under a co-operative arrangement. This would increase the size of the cultivating unit and hence economies of size would be reaped. This, however, became politically controversial. The Socialists swore by the bene. ts of large farms and co-operatives. They had the examples of the USA and as they then thought the USSR as successful agrarian experiments. The Right did not like this pooling idea and the farmers who had just received tenurial rights were in any case reluctant to give up their land for co-operative pooling. A delegation had gone from India to China led by R. K. Patil (ICS), which had reported back that Chinas example of land pooling in communes should be emulated by India. This, too, caused some unease. A detailed study was proposed by the Research Programme Committee of the Planning Commission to establish whether there were economies of size in farming. This was done in a very thorough way by Farm Management Surveys investigating costs and returns to cultivation in great detail. The headline conclusion of the study was that small farms were more ef. cient than large farms. This in its turn set off another long debate on how this could be so. It is against this background that Amartyas article clari. ed the issues and put the debate on proper lines. There are three propositions according to Amartya in the Farm Management Survey studies: (1) If you impute market wages to household labour, then much of Indian agriculture was unpro. table. (2) Pro. tability as surplus of revenue over total (including imputed) costs increased with size of holding. (3) Productivity per acre decreased with size. Obviously the marginal product of household labour while not zero was below the market wage. Thus, the market wage was not the correct shadow price of labour. This was an obvious case of the simple market rules being less ef. cient at allocation than shadow prices. But it also was clear that pro. ts were no guide to ef. ciency; loss-making small farms were not inef. cient, only subjected to wrong pricing rules. But having established the wrong-headedness of simple market economics, Amartya goes on to correct the simple impression created about the superior productivity of small farms. This he says proves nothing about co-operative farming. If the explanation chosen here is correct, the factor that makes the crucial difference is not size as such, which is incidental, but the system of farming, viz. whether it is wage based or family based. For example if a large cooperative farm operates on a non wage family labour basis, there is nothing in our observations to indicate that it will have a lower output per acre. In fact, in Indian private enterprise agriculture a whole lot of subsidiary operations are wage based, e.g., building canals, dams etc. A cooperative farm might be able to include some of these activities within the non-wage sphere at least up to a point with a corresponding gain in ef. ciency (Sen, 1962, p. 246). Thus, on the one hand the crucial distinction between the market wage and the shadow wage is established to counter the impression that small farms are loss-making. But at the same time co-operative are defended. Of course by the time Amartya wrote the article, the political question had been settled. Nehru had been defeated at the All India Congress Committee meeting of 1959 by Charan Singh and the policy of

co-operative farming had been abandoned (see Byers, 1988, for details). But while the critique of pro. t as a measure of ef. ciency was insightful in the case of agriculture, it was soon extended in India to any pro. t calculus, including that for public sector enterprises. (Amartya himself took this view in his Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Lectures of 1969, which are to my knowledge as yet unpublished.) Thus, in the . rst period, Amartyas work on development establishes the importance of shadow prices in any optimization exercise. He also worked on growth economics so that the objective function in any such optimization was national income growth or some such measure of social welfare. He was, of course, working more and more through the 1960s on social choice issues. He was unique among Indian economists of his generation in that respect, in choosing to go into pure theoretical questions with no seeming connection to Indian problems. There was much mild disapproval of this among Indian economists in those days as I well remember. Amartya never made the connection between his different concerns explicit, but the foundation of growth theory has to be in social choice since income maximizing for the whole economy is indefensible without some such foundation. Arrows pessimistic conclusion about majority decision procedures (the impossibility theorem) had to be countered, if only to make the pursuit of macroeconomic growth defensible. 4. Social Choice and the Measurement of Well-being I do not intend to deal with social choice as I am not competent to do so. In the 1970s Amartyas technical work focused on inequality and poverty (Sen, 1973a, 1976a). He also tackled the issue of the meaning of real national income (Sen, 1976b). These works were a coda to all the work on human development in the 1990s since Amartya was asking fundamental questions about income and its distribution as well as the appropriate ways of measuring things, which people had measured sloppily for a long time. The poverty measure is a prime example of this. Amartya measured not just the number of poor but the extent of poverty itself. There is a real difference between saying you are measuring poverty and then counting the number of poor by some arbitrary criterion and measuring poverty itself as a phenomenon. But the critique of real national income also leads to the insight that as a measure of social welfare its imperfections need to be overcome by taking its interpersonal distribution into account. An interesting aspect of Amartyas technical work in the 1970s is the elegance and simplicity of the . nal formulations which he derived. Thus the measure y (1 2 G) where y is per capita income and G is the Gini coef. cient is arrived at after some very detailed mathematics which could easily, and often in other peoples work does, lead to complex formulae. Similarly elegant is the poverty measure which combines the head count ratio (H), the deprivation measure (I) and Gini coef. cient (G) in a simple formula: P 5 H [I 1 (1 2 I)G]. The combination of simplicity and rigour gives these formulae immense communication power, especially when economists have to deal with policy-makers or the general public. 5. From Suboptimality to a Humane Economics: The Second Phase 19762001 and Beyond The second and more radical phase of Amartyas work starts with his Bengal famine article in the inaugural issue of the Cambridge Journal of Economics. This was written in 1976 and published in 1977, i.e. about the same time that the more technical articles on poverty and income measurements were appearing. The article connects with Amartyas childhood memories as he has said but also with the humanitarian concerns of Tagore. This is economics at last back in the service of humanity. This article also marks, in my view, a decisive shift in Amartyas work. At once it is more ambitious and more con. dent. The world is no longer just full of pervasive suboptimality but the very basis of the optimization calculusutility theory is being challenged. Amartya did not spend any time on the then fashionable discussions of Walrasian equilibrium, its existence and stability with or without money or the search for a non-Walrasian foundation for Keynesian unemployment. He bypassed the entire question of perfectly competitive equilibrium and concentrated on the philosophical critique of utilitarianism. He did this starting with his article on the Paretian liberal (1970) as well as his inaugural lecture at LSE on Behaviour and the concept of preference (1973b). The result unfolds in several stages and I shall con. ne myself to the issues relevant for development economics. First is the notion of entitlements, which is a sort of labour theory of value as far as it can go, with simple agrarian situations where . xed capital is not involved. The entitlement concept replaces the notion of endowments in a neat way because all that most people have is their labour power. Despite their willingness to work full time the exogenous shifts in relative prices make them fall below subsistence.

The chapter in Poverty and Famines (PF) (Sen, 1981) outlining this is so simple that many criticized Amartya for stating the obvious (most notably Ashok Mitra (1985) in a review article). But the astonishing thing about PF is the set of four case studies of 20th-Century famines including the Bengal famine. They recall Amartyas earlier applied work on the Indian economy. It is a depressing thing for us applied economists to realize that some theorists can do much better applied work than we could ever dream of doing. PF shifts Amartyas concerns to development, but in a different way than academic development economics was engaged in at that time. Thus, growth is replaced by poverty and deprivation as the principal concerns. Amartya had been doing work for the International Labour Of. ce (ILO) during the 1970s on employment programmes (see, 1975). But the work in PF leads on to work on gender and then on capabilities and human development. It opens out themes in development economics which are now the central concerns of policy-makers and academics in development but were totally absent in the mid-1970s or even the 1980s. Just as the Statist model of economic development was under great strain, Amartyas approach was able to shift the debate away from State versus market to the appropriate roles of the two. Thus, the entitlement approach tells us that erratic price uctuations are damaging for the poor so orderly markets are essential. The entitlement argument is not that of market failure, but that despite markets clearing there can be starvation. It is in one sense parallel with Keyness theory of underemployment equilibrium in which markets clear but at a level that leaves many people involuntarily unemployed. The State had to concentrate on health, education, clean water and other capabilities providing goods and services and not on manufacturing industries, etc. This is a far cry from Mahalanobis, though Amartya has never disavowed that model. 5.1 The Young Marxs Humane Concerns and Development as Freedom At some risk of raising some peoples hackles, I would like to argue that Amartyas research programme of the 1980s and since gets us back to the young Marxs concerns about species being and why political economy had lost its way. Marx never came back to his 1844 themes after he had worked on the critique of political economy, partly because that critique was never . nished and also because other more practical concerns (First International, Paris Commune, the German SPD, etc.) occupied his old age. But the idea that political economy should be concerned with men (sic) not things, that it should avoid commodity fetishism, were forgotten even by Marxists in their programmatic pursuit of socialism (Desai, 1986). Amartyas work brings us back to these issues but after his personal detour through social choice and the rigorous measurement work on poverty, income and inequality. Marxism was very prevalent in Calcutta of the 1950s and since, and Amartya has often quoted Marx. He has never explicitly argued this connection but I can see it very clearly. It is thus a research programme of humane economics in a broad Marxian sense as well as in the sense that Tagore would understand. This is where Amartya reinterprets freedom not just as market choice but as something to do with peoples capabilities and also involving choice in a deeper sense. This is why agency becomes a theme in Amartyas work in the 1980s and his writings on gender are the most insightful for that reason. Revelation of preferences is not enough; we have to understand the social structural constraints on the decisionmaker hence the Hindu widow who eats very little by her own preference as seen by the outside observer. For me, Amartyas writings on this particular topic evoke scenes from Satyajit Rays Apu Trilogy, especially the old emaciated widow (played by the veteran Bengali actress Chunni Bai). Thus Amartya restores the individual in our esteem not as individualists or utilitarians do, but much more as an illustration of the idea that the species being in all of us requires freedom and autonomy of agency while at the same time being conscious of our interdependence. The Isaiah Berlin distinction between negative and positive freedoms becomes unimportant here as human beings require both to realize their capabilities through a rich set of functionings. Agency is important here as is freedom of speech and belief. Adequate food and shelter and health and literacy tie in together to help the individual live a full life. This is a tricky complex argument and perhaps needs a fuller treatment on another occasion. Perhaps younger and better economists than me will develop it. But let me try and sketch out how I think Amartyas thinking developed on this. The emergence of freedom as an explicit theme in Amartyas work is very much a 1990s development. We begin with the Human Development Report (HDR) whose . rst 1990 issue was very much a result of Amartyas work (especially Chapter 1). Then as the HDR goes into

themes of freedom and human rights 1991 and 1992 there remains a tension between the two views of freedomone liberal individualist and the other implicit in the concept of human development. Amartya had little to do with the second and third reports. It was the HDR 1995, with its theme of gender, that brought him back actively in the HDR process. Here the agency theme is crucial and the human rights that women can exercise are an essential part of daily existence. Women need rights indoors to cope with domestic violence and intra-household inequalities. Thus, while the usual liberal discourse of liberal individualism considers the State and the market as the two arenas where freedom has to be asserted, Amartya introduces the household as an essential third arena. Womens human development thus requires a broadening of the notion of freedom, and good nutrition or education presumed as given by the liberal notion of freedom become crucial. Thus, at the end development becomes synonymous with freedom (Sen, 2000). It comes back to the individual but not as an atomistic isolated alienated individual with respect to the market or the State. This individual is in society as mother or daughter or grandmother, working indoors as well as outdoors (labour is not entirely alienating). Her entitlements are precarious and need to be secured. Her capabilities need to be assured so that she can enjoy a rich set of functionings. It is the aim of development to make all this possible because it has to raise the pro. le of the poorest and the most vulnerable. Women by the condition of their existence within the structures of patriarchy, whatever their conventional material status (income, etc.), provide the Rawlsian equivalent of the worst off whose well-being has to be the yardstick of the justness of any society. While Gandhi has never been a major in uence on Amartyas thinking this is also the notion of Antyodayathe uplift of the last. 6. Conclusion Amartya has constructed a whole new economics/philosophy with human concerns at the centre. He has done this while satisfying the toughest standards of theoretical rigour. But he has also done it by bypassing the many contemporary concerns of economists. Thus, he is unclassi. able as a macroeconomist or a microeconomist. He has avoided the debates on capital theory, on monetarism versus Keynsianism, on Walrasian and neo-Walrasian equilibrium with or without money, even on Marxian economics and the disputes about value, and Sraffa and joint production. He is not a conventional development economist either in the sense that Arthur Lewis, Peter Bauer, Theodore Schultz or HlaMyint are. But there is a thread through surplus labour and shadow price of labour in his early work, to concern about employment in the 1970s, passing on to poverty and then famine. He did not separate developed from developing countries in his theory of poverty and capability. Thus, there is universality in his analytical works, but they are infused with concerns which he grew up with in pre-independence Bengal. Thus it is profoundly Indian as well as universal. But