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Partha Dasgupta: What Environmentalism Overlooks, 19 May 2005

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive 
by Jared Diamond.
Allen Lane, 575 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 7139 9286 7
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... Are our dealings with nature sustainable? Can we expect world economic growth to continue for the foreseeable future? Should we be confident that our knowledge and skills will increase in ways that will lessen our reliance on nature despite our growing numbers and rising economic activity? These questions have been debated for decades. If the debate has become increasingly shrill, it is because two opposing ways of looking at the world continue to shape it ...

Listen to the women

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 21 October 1993

An Inquiry into Well-Being and Destitution 
by Partha Dasgupta.
Oxford, 661 pp., £35, July 1993, 0 19 828756 9
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... have a clear conception of what the balance should be between private and public support. This, in Partha Dasgupta’s opinion, is ‘the central problem of the social sciences’. In this inquiry, he suggests a way, at least for poorer societies, to solve it. His models, he says, shouldn’t be taken too literally. Although he is himself a theoretical ...

Human Welfare

Paul Seabright, 18 August 1983

Utilitarianism and Beyond 
edited by Amartya Sen and Bernard Williams.
Cambridge, 290 pp., £20, June 1982, 0 521 24296 7
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... the uncertainty, which can leave the thrust of their essays a little obscure: both Frank Hahn and Partha Dasgupta, for instance, argue that utilitarianism is compatible with respect for individual rights, Hahn because of the utility which people derive from the fulfilment of their rights and Dasgupta (more ...

If Oxfam ran the world

Martha Nussbaum, 4 September 1997

Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence 
by Peter Unger.
Oxford, 187 pp., £35, October 1996, 0 19 507584 6
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... Pogge from the Kantian, Gerald Cohen, Brian Barry, the economists Amartya Sen, John Roemer and Partha Dasgupta, all get a nod in a footnote at most, and we hear nothing informative about how their arguments would be addressed. Major historical contributors such as Kant, Bentham and Adam Smith don’t even get a nod. So the implied reader is not a ...

Check Your Spillover

Geoff Mann: The Climate Colossus, 10 February 2022

The Spirit of Green: The Economics of Collisions and Contagions in a Crowded World 
by William D. Nordhaus.
Princeton, 355 pp., £25, May 2021, 978 0 691 21434 4
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... for it, our rate of time preference is positive: ‘impatience means δ > 0’ as the economist Partha Dasgupta puts it. The second term, ηg, is more complicated: η represents what economists call the ‘consumption elasticity of marginal utility’ and g is the annual rate of economic growth. The idea here is that the costs or benefits of our ...

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