Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cornhusker Economics, December 13, 2000,


Copyright 2000 University of Nebraska.


As every year, World Food Day took place on October 16th. Being relatively new to UNL (and the U.S.), and being an assistant professor in the Economics Department (joint with the Agricultural Economics Department) with research interests in social choice and game theory, the probability that I would get involved with World Food Day were slim. However, somehow it caught my eye that the yearly teleconference that accompanies World Food Day featured the 1998 Nobel prize winner for economics, Professor Amartya Sen. The 2000 World Food Day’s teleconference topic was “Poverty and Hunger: The Tragic Link” and in a superb way it linked Professor Sen’s contributions to welfare economics and his economic insights with the complex subject of hunger and famines. In this article I would like to reflect on some of Professor Sen’s views on hunger and famines. My main sources of information are the study/action package that was distributed by Georgia State University (see for this year’s World Food Day and Professor Sen’s 1981 book “Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation,” Oxford: Claredon Press.