In this Very Short Introduction, Partha Dasgupta demonstrates the empirical foundation of good economics and its concern with questions of direct relevance to everyday life. The book thus opens with a consideration of 'the population problem', examining influencing factors both at the level of individual choices and national policies. It goes on to introduce the reader to other economic concepts such as efficiency, equity, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. Throughout the book, Dasgupta highlights the fact that economics has the capacity to offer us deep insights into some of the most formidable problems of life, and will show the indivisible connection between politics, political philosophy, and economics, and how their interactions have created the world we live in today.
Partha Dasgupta is Frank Ramsey Professor of Economics, University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College. His book, An Inquiry into Well-Being and Destitution (OUP, 1993) was praised as 'a tour de force... a model of good economics' (Joseph Stiglitz) and 'philosophically sophisticated, empirically well-informed, ambitious and lively' (James Griffin).