Congratulations Partha Dasgupta!
Partha Dasgupta, professor of economics at University of Cambridge and a member of the research project Climate Ethics and Future Populations at IFFS turns 80 in 2023. During his long career he has been very influential in the fields of development economics and ecological economics, and the relationship between population, economics and nature.
In 2019 the UK government tasked him to develop a new measure that takes into account the capital inherent in nature that is used in human economic activity. The result was published in the 2021 report "The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review."
"GDP is based on a faulty application of economics that does not include depreciation of assets such as the degradation of the biosphere", Dasgupta concludes. As an example of the faulty accounting of GDP one can use the construction of a shopping mall. GDP records the increase that is associated with the new capital constructed, but not the loss of say the forest that was cut down in the process and the services that the forest used to provide, such as the prevention of soil erosion, absorption of CO2, habitat for pollinators, clean air and recreation. Accounting for the destruction of nature, in the creation of GDP growth, would result in a much lower rate of growth than what shows up in the GDP measure.
The New York Times, in a video narrated by Alexander Skarsgård titled "An Actor, an Economist and The Answer to Everything" (makes you curious right!) labled Dasgupta the "most important person you have never heard of".
Watch the video by New York Times below: