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Human Well-being and the Natural Environment


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Table of Contents

Summary and Guide Introduction: Means and Ends I Valuing and EvaluatingPrologue 1: The Notion of Well-Being *1: Ordering Social States 2: Why Measure Well-Being? 3: Constituents and Determinants of Well-Being II Measuring Current Well-BeingPrologue 4: Theory 5: Current Quality of Life in Poor Countries III Measuring Well-Being over TimePrologue 6: Intergenerational Well-Being *6: Intergenerational Conflicts 7: Economic Institutions and the Natural Environment 8: Valuing Goods 9: Wealth and Well-Being IV Evaluating Policies in Imperfect EconomiesPrologue 10: Policy Reforms 11: Discounting Future Consumption: How and Why 12: Institutional Responses to Policy Change V Valuing Potential LivesPrologue 13: Some Views 14: Classical Utilitarianism and the Genesis Problem *14: Numbers and Well-Being under Classical Utilitarianism 15: Actual versus Potential Lives *15: Generation-Relative Utilitarianism Appendix

About the Author

Partha Dasgupta is the Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. A Past President of the Royal Economic Society and of the European Economic Association, Professor Dasgupta is a Fellow of the British Academy, Member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. His publications include An Inquiry into Well-Being and Destitution (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993).


Partha Dasgupta is a very highly regarded economic theorist, and this book shows why. Dasgupta writes more clearly, and in a more acessible manner than most highly regarded economic theorists ... this book has much to recommend it ... elegant and incisive analysis. Journal of Public Policy A very interesting and stimulating book. Journal of Economics Exemplary exposition of the environment's role in fostering socio-economic advance as part of human well-being ... enlightening from start to finish. Nature Building on his classic magnum opus ... Partha Dasgupta has joined this rethink in an intellectually rich, thought-provoking and occasionally metaphysical work. His new book probes many issues beyond those that might be anticipated from the title and confirms his position as one of the most exciting economic thinkers today ... we can ask why so many feel we need reforms in ethical behaviour to ensure sustainability. Dasgupta touches on some of the framework needed to answer this question. More is needed. If anyone is going to supply it is is likely to be Dasgupta. Times Higher Education Supplement Concepts like GDP focus on easily measurable things, whilst omitting ecosystem services and other environmental factors on which life ultimately depends. Partha Dasgupta is a seminal figure in his discipline, taking on the difficult, yet hugely important, task of trying meaningfully to measure "quality of life". This book will, I hope, set the tone for the new millennium, melding conventional economic concepts, ecological and environmental science, and a great deal of plain commonsense. Read it. Lord Robert May, University of Oxford

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