Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, one of the world's foremost welfare economists, will deliver Harvard's commencement address this June, sources confirmed today.
Sen, a former Lamont University Professor, is now Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. His work on the impoverished in developing nations won him the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998.
Sen most famously studied the 1974 Bangladesh floods, which caused a widespread famine.
At a time when other economists and social scientists blamed the environment for the resulting devastation, Sen took a more nuanced view.
He found that the floods themselves weren't entirely to blame for the famine. Farmers whose fields were destroyed had no way to make ends meet, since their government did not find a way to employ them gainfully.
As a result, these farmers were more likely to be victims of the famine.
A native of India, Sen graduated from Presidency College in Calcutta and received his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from Trinity College, Cambridge.
Harvard's commencement is scheduled for June 8.