The State of Economics: Social Choice and Welfare Economics

Thinkers instrumental in shaping contemporary economics do a major stocktaking of the field, and also look ahead at the challenges of global development. The speakers reflect on the way thinking in economics has evolved in his or her area of interest, and also speculate about how the global economy is likely to evolve and the challenges this will pose for humankind, economic analysis, and polic... view more


Social Choice and Welfare Economics: Martin Rama and Amartya Sen


Social Choice and Welfare Economics: Amartya Sen part 1


Social Choice and Welfare Economics: Amartya Sen part 2


Social Choice and Welfare Economics: James Foster


Social Choice and Welfare Economics: Célestin Monga, Martin Rama and Amartya Sen

About the Presenters

Martin Rama

Chief Economist, South Asia Region, World Bank
Martin Rama is the Chief Economist for the South Asia region of the World Bank, based in Delhi, India. His main priorities are to promote debate on difficult policy issues in the region, to lead the preparation of major reports on regional issues, and to oversee the overall quality of the Bank’s analytical work in the region. To deliver on these tasks, he and his team actively engage with counterparts in government, academia, civil society and the business community.

Amartya Sen

Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University and 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics
Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University and was until 2004 the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is also Senior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Earlier on he was Professor of Economics at Jadavpur University Calcutta, the Delhi School of Economics, and the London School of Economics, and Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University. He has served as President of the Econometric Society, the American Economic Association, the Indian Economic Association, and the International Economic Association. He was formerly Honorary President of OXFAM and is now its Honorary Advisor. His research has ranged over social choice theory, economic theory, ethics and political philosophy, welfare economics, theory of measurement, decision theory, development economics, public health, and gender studies. Amartya Sen’s awards include Bharat Ratna (India); Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur (France); the National Humanities Medal (USA); Ordem do Merito Cientifico (Brazil); Honorary Companion of Honour (UK); Aztec Eagle (Mexico); Edinburgh Medal (UK); the George Marshall Award (USA); the Eisenhauer Medal (USA); and the Nobel Prize in Economics.

James Foster

Professor of Economics, George Washington University
James Foster is Professor of Economics at George Washington University and directs the university’s Institute for International Economic Policy in the Elliott School of International Affairs. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University, holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa from Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo (Mexico), and is an Honorary Member of the SCR, Magdalen College Oxford. Foster’s research focuses on welfare economics, poverty, and inequality. His joint 1984 Econometrica paper is one of the most cited papers on poverty and it was the basis for targeting the Progresa/Oportunidades program in Mexico.

Célestin Monga

Célestin Monga is Managing Director at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria. He previously served as Senior Advisor in the World Bank Research Department and Director of the Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics. He holds graduate degrees from MIT, Harvard, and the Universities of Paris-Sorbonne and Pau.