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Poverty and Famines$
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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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Famine in Bangladesh

(p.131) Chapter 9 Famine in Bangladesh
Poverty and Famines

Amartya Sen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

A case study of the 1974 famine in Bangladesh, which was associated with the floods of that year, and had an official mortality of 26,000. The causation of the famine is analysed in terms of food availability decline (FAD), and this approach is shown to offer very little by way of explanation of the famine, although the general food shortage resulting from low food imports and government food stocks is identified as a constraint in government relief operations. An analysis of the occupational status and the intensity of destitution show that the largest group were labourers. The exchange entitlement of the labourers is analysed in detail, and it is concluded that this approach gives a much better understanding of the famine.

Keywords:   Bangladesh, destitution, exchange entitlements, famine, floods, food availability decline, labourers, occupational status

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