In Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment, Partha Dasgupta explores ways to measure the quality of life. In developing quality of life indices, he pays particular attention to the natural environment, illustrating how it can be incorporated, more generally, into economic reasoning in a seamless manner. Such familiar terms as "sustainable development," "social discount rates," and Earth's "carrying capacity" are given a firm theoretical underpinning. The author shows that, whether we are interested in valuing the state of affairs in a country or in evaluating economic policy there, the index that should be used is the economy's wealth, which is the social worth of its capital assets. Dasgupta puts the theory he develops to use in extended commentaries on the economics of population, poverty traps, global warming, structural adjustment programs, and free trade, particularly in relation to poor countries. The result is a treatise that goes beyond quality-of-life measures and offers a comprehensive account of the newly emergent subject of ecological economics.