Professor Sen's research has ranged over a number of fields in economics, philosophy, and decision theory, including social choice theory, welfare economics, theory of measurement, development economics, public health, gender studies, moral and political philosophy, and the economics of peace and war. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages, and include Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), On Economic Inequality (1973, 1997), Poverty and Famines (1981), Choice, Welfare and Measurement (1982), Resources, Values and Development (1984), On Ethics and Economics (1987), The Standard of Living (1987), Inequality Reexamined (1992), Development as Freedom (1999), and Rationality and Freedom (2002), The Argumentative Indian (2005), and Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (2006).
Born in Santiniketan, and a citizen of India, Professor Sen studied at Presidency College in Calcutta, India, and at Trinity College, Cambridge (where he was a Fellow of All Souls College - now a Distinguished Fellow). He has been Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, Lamont University Professor at Harvard, Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford, and Professor of Economics at Delhi University and at the London School of Economics. He has served as President of the Econometric Society, the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association and the International Economic Association. Formerly the Honorary President of OXFAM, he is now its Honorary Advisor.
Professor Sen has received honorary doctorates from major universities in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Philosophical Society. Among the awards he has received are the "Bharat Ratna" (the highest honor awarded by the President of India); the Senator Giovanni Agnelli International Prize in Ethics; the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award; the Edinburgh Medal; the Brazilian Ordem do Merito Cientifico (Grã-Cruz); the Presidency of the Italian Republic Medal; the Eisenhower Medal; Honorary Companion of Honour (U.K.); The George C. Marshall Award, and the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Professor Sen was a charter Senior Fellow of the Ethics Center, one of a group of distinguished Harvard faculty members supporting the idea, in 1986, of an ethics initiative at the University.