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Presidential Address How Does Economics Fit the Social World?

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor David Harvey


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This paper considers the present state of applied economics and the difficulties of integrating its findings and insights with those of other social sciences. The philosophical basis of social science is re-considered as a route to resolving these difficulties. Without a more integrated narrative about how our social systems work, applied economics, and all applied social sciences, run the substantial risk of being considered part of the world’s problems, rather than offering serious routes to their solution. Some possible strands of a more coherent and integrated framework are outlined, which indicate some potentially fruitful avenues for further development. The paper concludes with illustrations of this outline for the food chain and land use agenda of the Research Councils’ Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) initiative.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harvey DR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Agricultural Economics

Year: 2004

Volume: 55

Issue: 2

Pages: 313-337

ISSN (print): 0021-857X

ISSN (electronic): 1477-9552

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2004.tb00098.x

Notes: AES Presidential Address, April, 2004


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