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Poverty and FaminesAn Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation$
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Amartya Sen

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780198284635

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198284632.001.0001

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The Great Bengal Famine

The Great Bengal Famine

Chapter:
(p.52) Chapter 6 The Great Bengal Famine
Source:
Poverty and Famines
Author(s):

Amartya Sen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198284632.003.0006

A case study of the Great Bengal Famine of 1943, which had a reported death toll of about 1.5 million. An explanation for the famine is analysed in terms of the most common approach used—food availability decline (FAD), and this is rejected for various reasons. Analyses are next made in terms of exchange entitlements and the causes of the sharp movements of these, and of the class basis of the destitution. The last part of the chapter discusses the role of theory in the failure of the official policy for tackling the famine.

Keywords:   Bengal, case studies, exchange entitlements, famine, famine policy, food availability decline, Great Bengal Famine, social class, social status

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