Sen Cautiously Praises Economy

In his Commencement speech before Harvard graduates, Lamont University Professor Amartya K. Sen spoke enthusiastically about world trade but stressed that students must "confront the consequences of global inequality."

President Neil L. Rudenstine introduced Sen as a "purposeful explorer and humanist" and praised his "well-tempered idealism."

The Nobel laureate then launched into a broad, general speech entitled "Global Doubts." Sen expounded on many of the questions that have won him renown in both economic and philosophical circles.

Sen first lauded the increase in economic prosperity that international trade has brought.

"The case for global trade is strong," he said. "There is extensive evidence that the global economy has brought prosperity to many areas of the globe."

Sen then went on to describe the ethical and moral doubts and questions that have been raised by globalization, which have been a hallmark of his work.

"We must also acknowledge the inequality between and within countries," Sen said.

Describing the current trend towards globalization as an intensification of several processes--migration and technological advancement among them--Sen embraced the idea of free markets but said that "a well-functioning market mechanism does not obviate the need for democracy and civil rights."

Recommended Articles

Amartya Sen Offers Alternative to GDP
Economic experts pondered whether a more accurate economic health measurement system would have prevented the financial crisis.
State Dinner Crashers Part Deux
So what does being a State Dinner crasher get you? Subpoenaed, apparently. In light of today's congressional hearing looking into the antics of the now infamous Salahis, Flyby talked to Harvard's very own History Professor Emma Rothschild and her husband Professor of Economics and Philosophy Amartya Sen who were one of the lucky few to get an invite to the first State Dinner of the Obama administration.
Time to Prioritize
Environmental organizations should rally and encourage voters to urge their representatives to bring climate change to the congressional table.
Misguided Remarks
Sen. Brown should exercise greater prudence before he chooses to conflate Harvard's policies
Medals Honor Humanities
Harvard affiliates took home three of the nine National Humanities Medals awarded for 2011, in a ceremony earlier this week at the White House.
Maskin Named University Professor
Economics professor Eric S. Maskin ’72, who won a Nobel Prize in 2007 for his contributions to the field of game theory, has been appointed a University Professor, joining 22 other faculty members who hold Harvard’s most prestigious post.