Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen
Volume 3, No. 1 (Spring 2000)
Amartya Sen's wide-ranging book grasps a point ignored by many economists. Economists are generally alive to the virtues of markets, and few since the collapse of communism have a good word to say about central planning. Commonly, though, economists defend markets strictly on grounds of efficiency: the free economy "gets the job done" in a way that socialism cannot match. Professor Sen sees deeper than this. The freedom to trade counts as an intrinsic human right, valuable apart from its contribution to economic growth.