An economist at home in many cultures

My latest piece for the Washington Post was this review of Home in the World: A Memoir by Amartya Sen, a lovely account of the economist’s early years:

After he was awarded the Nobel Prize, the Nobel Foundation asked Sen to provide two objects to be displayed in the Nobel Museum in Stockholm. Sen chose a copy of “Aryabhatiya,” a classical Sanskrit work on mathematics, and his first bicycle, an Atlas he regularly rode from 1945 to 1998 — first as a schoolboy and later as a researcher pedaling village to village to gather data on the impact of the Bengal famine on gender inequality. His message, once again, was clear: For all his studies and travels, the source of the rigor of his thinking and his methodology could be traced back to a few sturdy gifts from his upbringing.

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