An Economist's Perspective on Technology and the Liberal Arts

41 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2005

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2005


A question of considerable significance that confronts our nation's universities in general and our institutes of technology in particular is the apposite role of the liberal arts in an institute of technology. As such, the purpose of this paper is to provide an economist's perspective on the nexuses between the liberal arts and technology. We begin with a set of questions that are interdisciplinary in nature but also have a substantial economic content to them. We then discuss a subset of these questions expansively. In particular, we point to the ways in which a liberal education enhances our understanding of all aspects of this subset of questions. Our basic point is that these and most other momentous questions of the day are inherently interdisciplinary in nature. Therefore, they can only be addressed meaningfully by combining a liberal education with solid training in at least one discipline.

Keywords: Higher Education, Liberal Arts, Technology

JEL Classification: A12, B40, O33

Suggested Citation

Batabyal, Amitrajeet A., An Economist's Perspective on Technology and the Liberal Arts (October 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Amitrajeet A. Batabyal (Contact Author)

Rochester Institute of Technology ( email )

Department of Economics, RIT
92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY NEW YORK 14623-5604
United States
5853134063 (Phone)
5854755777 (Fax)


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