The Political Economy of Hunger

Entitlement and Well-being : Volume 1

This book is the first of three volumes. Every year millions of people are losing their lives around the world, undeterred by the widespread opulence and remarkably higher per capita income, because of sporadic famines, endemic undernourishment, and destitution; let alone those hundreds of millions leading lives of never-ending vulnerability and want. This book is a collection of twenty six chapters in three volumes. There are ten chapters in this first volume. The book as a whole attempts to explore many of the vague phenomena as to the characteristics, causation, and possible antidotes of hunger in the contemporary world. By carrying out both analytical and empirical investigations, it dwells on the need for a broader perspective for better understanding of the reasons and remedies of hunger.

Table of contents
  1. 1. Introduction
    Jean Drèze, Amartya Sen
  2. 2. Food, Economics and Entitlements
    Amartya Sen
    More Working Paper | Food, Economics and Entitlements
  3. 3. Global Food Balances and Individual Hunger: Three Themes in an Entitlements‐Based Approach
    Ravi Kanbur
  4. 4. The Politics of Hunger and Entitlement
    Rehman Sobhan
  5. 5. Chronic Hunger in the World: Impact of International Policies
    Kirit S. Parikh
  6. 6. An Independent Press and Anti‐hunger Strategies: The Indian Experience
    Narasimhan Ram
  7. 7. Adapting to Undernourishment: The Biological Evidence and its Implications
    Partha Dasgupta, Debraj Ray
    More Working Paper | Adapting to Undernourishment
  8. 8. Nutrition and the Economics of Food: Implications of Some Recent Controversies
    S. R. Osmani
    More Working Paper | Controversies in Nutrition and their Implications for the Economics of Food
  9. 9. Food and Standard of Living: An Analysis Based on Sri Lankan Data
    Sudhir Anand, Christopher Harris
  10. 10. The Intrafamily Distribution of Hunger in South Asia
    Barbara Harriss
  11. 11. Rural Women and Food Production in Sub‐Saharan Africa
    Ann Whitehead
Show all

'Sen and his associates deserve a lot of credit for bucking the general trend.' - Times Higher Education Supplement

'What makes the work of Drèze and Sen so worthy of respect is that it is not reliant on theory or on indignation but firmly based on detailed research and analysis of all aspects of the problem.' - William St Clair, Financial Times

'the authors are highly respected and the series draws on an extraordinary data base and comparison between countries. Bringing all this together is Amartya Sen. Lamont University Professor at Harvard, who has an unparalleled reputation for his work on famine, equity, and development economics ... This series forms the most definitive recent analysis of the problems of hunger and deprivation in the three continents of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The range of issues and countries covered is nothing short of extraordinary.' - Dissent

'This is an uncommonly fine collection of papers by prominent authors. A valuable addition to upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections in development economics.' - C.L. Nelson, Davidson College, CHOICE, Dec

'a considerable, and highly stimulating contribution.' - Pramit Chaudhuri, University of Sussex, The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 28, No. 2, Jan 92

'a major research effort by 26 well known authors ... The Political Economy of Hunger is essential reading for those academics customarily counselling policy makers. The volume is rich with warnings about assumptions and suppositions, habitually found in official documents, which are partially untrue, sometimes untrue or simply untrue. It is obligatory reading for development administrators engaged in the transfer of resources to abate hunger in low income economies in a world with a billion hungry and poor and half a billion without energy for minimal activity and growth.' - The Round Table

'Unquestionably the most satisfying book - although on a very grim subject - that I read this year is the two-volume The Political Economy of Hunger edited by Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze.' - Indian Review of Books, Oct. '92

'Those who wish an in-depth, sometimes technical analysis of the complex problems and interrelationships among politics, economics and hunger will find this book to be a valuable resource.' - Ruth McNabb Dow, Eastern Illinois University, Journal of Nutrition Education, July/August 1992

'This is obviously an important book with immediate implications for countless lives. Those who choose not to turn its pages will be deprived of an intellectual treat.' - John Komlos, University of Pittsburgh, Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. XXX (September 1992)

'The array of articles in all three Drèze and Sen volumes is astounding.' - Thomas R. DeGregori, University of Houston, Africa Today, 4th Quarter 1992

'the most ambitious treatment of the intertwined issues of hunger, famines and well-being currently in print ... Drèze and Sen's collection is a massive achievement and will doubtless become an obligatory reference for every student on the subject. Certain essays, notably those by Jean Drèze himself, should also become obligatory reading for all practitioners in the field.' - Development and Change, Vol. 24 (1993)

'A must for the study of poverty and famine.' - Arabsheibani, London School of Economics