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50 People Who Matter 2010 | 43. Amartya Sen

Conscience teacher.

Amartya Sen is one of the world's most influential intellectuals.

The Nobel Prize-winning Indian economist is also a philosopher, concerned with problems moral as well as material. His notion of measuring human development has become central to the work of the United Nations and the World Bank.

The impact of his thinking on inequalities of "capability" as well as inequalities of income and wealth can be seen in everyone from the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to politicians in Britain. Although Sen denies that he is "the Mother Teresa of economics", few have done more to further the cause of economic and social justice.


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This article first appeared in the 27 September 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The 50 people who matter