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Human Development &
Capability Association

Multi-Disciplinary and People-Centred

2014 Amartya Sen Prize Contest: Call for Submissions

Academics Stand Against Poverty, Global Financial Integrity, and the Yale Global Justice Program invite submissions of original essays on illicit financial flows to the first annual Amartya Sen Prize Contest. All prizes are named in honor of Amartya Sen, whose work has shown how the rigor of economic thinking can be brought to bear on normative and practical questions of great human significance.

Illicit financial flows are international movements of funds that have been illegally earned or are being illegally transferred or utilized. Such flows may involve proceeds of corruption or other crimes–or may be associated with efforts to evade corporate or individual taxation. According to Global Financial Integrity, developing countries are especially damaged by illicit financial outflows, losing some $6 trillion in the decade ending in 2011 and about $1 trillion per annum more recently. Illicit financial flows are thought to perpetuate poverty and forestall equitable development by depriving societies of tax revenue and investment capital that could be used to promote economic growth and alleviate deprivation.

The 2014 Amartya Sen Prize Contest is soliciting original essays of ca. 7,000 to 9,000 words on how illicit financial flows relate to global poverty and inequality. Such essays could be empirical, analyzing for instance the distributional impact of illicit financial flows on the evolution of poverty or inequality. They could be normative, reflecting perhaps on who bears what responsibilities for the adverse effects of illicit financial flows. Or they might be practical, defending for example a feasible and politically realistic reform idea that could help curtail such outflows.

The best entries will be presented at an international conference, November 7-9, 2014, at Yale University and subsequently published in a special issue of a prominent journal. In addition, at least two of the winning essays will receive a monetary award: a first prize of $5,000 and a second prize of $3,000. Professor Sen hopes to join us for the conference presentations.

Entries can be e-mailed to Rachel Payne at and must reach her by October 5, 2014. We ask that entries be anonymized to facilitate blind refereeing. Winners will be selected by an expert jury, whose decisions are final.

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