The European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) is proud to award the European Lifetime Achievement Award in Environmental Economics to Sir Partha Dasgupta in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the development of environmental and resource economics. His contribution has been particularly noteworthy in the development of the theory of the use of natural resources and its application to a wide range of environmental problems.
Sir Partha Dasgupta was born in 1942 and has won a long list of awards but not the Lifetime Achievement award of the EAERE. He has provided fundamental and crucial contributions across a wide remit of economic theory and methodology. His seminal work in the fields of environmental and resource economics is particularly eminent and readily deserves the accolade afforded by this award.
His work has defined and continued to stretch the ground rules for the field of environmental and resource economics. Landmark publications in this field include “Guidelines for Project Evaluation” (with S.A. Marglin and A.K. Sen; United Nations, 1972), “Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources” (with G.M. Heal; Cambridge University Press, 1979; which was accorded AERE “Publication of Enduring Quality Award 2003”); “Resource Depletion under Technological Uncertainty” (with J.E. Stiglitz; Econometrica, 1981), “The Control of Resources” (Harvard University Press, 1982); “Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment” (Oxford University Press, 2001). “Uncertainty and Hyperbolic Discounting” (with E. Maskin; American Economic Review, 2005; accorded the EAERE Erik Kempe Award, 2007), “The Welfare Economic Theory of Green National Accounts” (Environmental and Resource Economics, 2009), UNEP UNU-IHDP Inclusive Wealth Report 2012 (with others; Cambridge University Press, 2012), ” Pervasive Externalities at the Population, Consumption, and Environment Nexus (with P.R. Ehrlich, Science, 2013),
In his book with Geoff Heal on resource economics, you will find the first rigorous analysis of the problems of the commons and also a hint on how these problems may be solved by the passage of time (repeated game theory).
His book Control of Resources a few years later contains the first rigorous general economic analyses of the dynamics of ecosystems. This was followed up much later in a book with Karl Goran Maler on the economics of non-convex dynamics in ecosystems. Partha was the first who applied these theoretical ideas in institutional analyses of the development problems in poor countries (primarily in India)
Partha and Karl Goran Maler developed the first theory of wealth as the proper index of social well-being and applied it empirically in South Asia (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan).
Partha has made major contributions to spread of the gospel of environmental economics in poor countries, primarily through SANDEE (which he and I started)but also in Latin America, Southern Africa and in China).
Partha has been a consistent supporter of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, being Association President for 2010-11. He also has played a crucial role in the success of the Association’s journal, Environmental and Resource Economics both by contributing some of its highest citing articles and through a variety of backstage roles which has greatly contributed to the growth and continuing success of the journal.