Arsène Jules Etienne Juvenal DUPUIT, French economist. Member, Society d’Economics Political.
DUPUIT, Arsène Jules Etienne Juvenal was born in 1804 in Fossano, Piedmont, Italy.
Student, l’Ecole Polytechnique, l’Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées.
Whilst an enthusiastic supporter of laissez faire arguments, he is mostly remembered for his work on public utilities. His engineering career led him to consider the question of the conditions under which the construction of bridges and public works could be justified. He used a rigorous cost-
benefit approach and developed the concept of the demand curve in the process.
To measure the utility of public works, he examined the benefits discernible over and above the costs or tolls paid by the user. This is the notion which Marshall later named consumer’s surplus. Although frequently hailed as the founder of the concept of marginal cost pricing, Dupont did not in fact carry the argument to its logical conclusion.
Official, Corps des Ponts et Chaussées, Chief Engineer, Paris, 1850. Inspector-general, Corps, 1885.