Mortality as an Indicator of Economic Success and Failure

Innocenti Lectures 1

Mortality as an Indicator of Economic Success and Failure
  • Format
  • Author(s)
    • Sen, Amartya;
  • Publisher
    • UNICEF ICDC, Florence
  • Date of Publication
    • 1995
  • Pages
    • 32
  • ISBN
    • 88-85401-25-2
  • IRC Stock Number
    • 148U
  • Publication Cost
    • free
  • Language
    • English


Amartya Sen, the Nobel economist, explains why mortality should, or could, be an indicator of economic success. While mortality is not in itself an economic phenomenon, the influences that increase or reduce mortality often have distinctly economic causes. Consequently there is a prima facie reason for not dismissing mortality as a test of economic performance. He argues that mortality information can throw light on the nature of social inequalities, including gender bias and racial disparities; biases in economic arrangements are often most clearly seen through differential mortality information. He advises that we look beyond the standard statistics of incomes and earnings into the real information on deprivation and hardship.


Thematic area

Economic Development   / 


developing countries   /  economic development   /  economic indicators   /  mortality rate   /  social inequality   /