Capital and Development Planning
“What makes for a beautiful problem in science? It may be logical beauty: proof that the set of prime numbers cannot be finite... is as aesthetically neat in our times on extra luster if, in addition to its logical elegance, it provides useful knowledge.... By the above test, we must judge Professor Chakravarty's book to be fascinating.” –from the Foreword
There has been much work in recent years on the construction of planning models to help responsible officials in underdeveloped countries make economically sound investment decisions. This book is a significant contribution to that effort.
Its concern is the theoretical part of such model building, working from the normative theory of capital and the theory of multisectoral growth processes. Mathematical optimization techniques are used systematically are accessible to readers who are familiar with calculus and matrix algebra. Appendices provide a comprehensive introduction to the calculus of variations, including its recent developments, presented from the standpoint of the economist. The book is intended primarily for the economist-planner and as such is not a completely general mathematical discussion of the subject. It is a notably brilliant contribution to economic theory, with broad practical importance, and should be of interest equally to economic theorists and development planners.