The Discipline of Economics

12 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2008

See all articles by Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen

Harvard University - Department of Economics


This is the text of the first Morishima Lecture at the LSE, and it investigates in particular two distinct priorities that are both important for the discipline of economics. One priority is that of "separation" with a focus on segregating distinct questions sharply, and then analyzing them separately. A very different priority is that of "integration" which looks particularly for interrelations between distinct issues. It is argued, with illustrations, that some of the major battles within the methodology of economics have been connected with the conflicting priorities of the two. The discipline, however, needs both.

Suggested Citation

Sen, Amartya, The Discipline of Economics. Economica, Vol. 75, Issue 300, pp. 617-628, November 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Amartya Sen (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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