THE GOOD NEWS
The End of the Malthusian Trap
A martya Sen was born in East Bengal—present-day Bangladesh—in 1933. At the age of nine, he witnessed the Bengal famine, one of the worst famines of the twentieth century, in which 9 million people died. Thirty-nine years later, he published Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, a book in which he suggested, surprisingly, that the problem faced by starving Bengalis in 1943 was not an absolute lack of food. Within the state itself there were adequate food supplies to keep everyone alive. Food production was only a little lower than it had been the year before, and higher in fact than during a number of years where there had been no famine. The reason for widespread ...