Interview with Amartya Sen: Economics with a Moral Compass?

Timothy Taylor in his blog points to this interview of Amartya Sen where he discusses some really interesting anecdotes (HT: Good friend Niranjan). There was a time when there were all kinds of characters in economics.

On Maurice Dobb and Dennis Robertson: 

When he [Maurice Dobb] first moved to Trinity College, he was a member of the British Communist Party already. Dennis Robertson—who always described himself as a liberal, but in fact was a conservative—offered Dobb this job on behalf of Trinity. Maurice accepted it immediately. He was then a research student at Pembroke College. He went home, and being a good Englishman, he wondered, “Shouldn’t I have mentioned that I’m a member of the Communist Party?” Then he wrote a letter of apology to Robertson—a very English letter: “When you offered me this job, I was so overwhelmed with the prospect of becoming a teacher in Trinity that I overlooked to tell you, for which I apologize, that I’m a member of the British Communist Party, and if after knowing that, you decide that you want to withdraw your offer, I would like you to know that I would not hold that against you.”Dennis Robertson replied, “Dear Dobb, So long as you give us a fortnight’s notice before blowing up the chapel, it would be all right.”

🙂

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