Economic Theorists, Reasoning Villagers

Amartya Sen

  • Palanpur: The Economy of an Indian Village by C.J. Bliss and N.H. Stern
    Oxford, 340 pp, £15.00, October 1982, ISBN 0 19 828419 5

How can you hide a book that makes a substantial contribution to economic theory? Well, you can call it Palanpur, which is the name of a tiny Indian village. (I look forward to picking up my economic theory in the future from books with such titles as Eynsham and Leamington Spa.) But, in fact, the title is no mystery. This book, which contributes so much to economic theory, is also about the remote Indian village called Palanpur. The village, we learn from the authors, ‘lies in the Moradabad District of West UP, 13 kilometres north of the town Chandausi, at the point 78°46'E 28°33'N’ – a description that is precise enough to satisfy most readers (especially, I take it, the ones who know where Chandausi is).

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