An interdisciplinary book by one of the most respected scholars in what is broadly development economics but encompasses the most recent insights from philosophical research and empirical work on resource allocation, nutrition science, and anthropology. It has been widely recognized as a seminal work presenting a wide-ranging description of the causes and remedies of poverty and undernourishment, and addressing the current debate over methods of estimating their incidence.
Readership: Social scientists, especially academics in the fields of development and welfare economics, in general economic theory, and in the field of anthropology. Nutrition scientists. Policy-makers,
commentators, and research staff. General readers interested in applied political and moral philosophy.
Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics, University of Cambridge
"Dasgupta has produced a tour de force, a book which is a model of good economics. He has addressed a set of questions which are of central importance, questions for which we really do care what the answers are. To answer these questions he has marshalled an array of evidence, empirical studies drawn from a wide range of sources. And he has brought some simple, but deep, theories and ideas to bear on these questions. The book will be a must for every development economist, but its reach should go well beyond that: every economist should be concerned with the questions it raises, and as a model of how good economics should be done, it should be required reading for every graduate student." - Joseph Stiglitz
"Although he is
himself a theoretical economist, his models start in political philosophy, and go beyond what most economists think of as economics into the real conditions of life in the South. An Inquiry into Well-Being and Destitution is in many ways as impressive as Hume, Smith and Marx themselves... No one, however, has gone so far beyond the generalities and brought so much of the many bits of available information together. No one, certainly, has thought it through so hard." London Review of Books"
"a rich unusual and wide ranging work...When one reads the whole book, one is forced to jettison incorrect impressions of simplemindedness. Without doubt, this is mandatory reading for every social scientist anywhere in the world." Indian Express"
Part I Well-Being: Theory and Realisation
The Commodity basis of well-being
Part II Allocation of Resources Among Households: The Standard Theory
Resource allocation mechanisms
Part III The Household and its Setting: Extensions of Standard Theory
Land, labour, savings and credit; Households and credit restraints (Appendix)
Part IV Undernourishment and destitution
Food needs and work capacity
Author and Subject Indexes