Economics and Contiguous Disciplines

  • Ronald H. Coase
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


Economists are working more in the other social sciences. To discover whether this trend is likely to continue, we need to know the reasons why it is happening. It has come about largely because of the use of such techniques as quantitative methods or cost-benefit analysis with which economists are familiar and, more recently, by economists using economic theory as a basis for studying political science, sociology, law and the like. To the extent that such work by economists depends on the possession of superior techniques or approaches, it is not likely to continue, since other social scientists should be able to master such techniques or approaches where they are valuable and will be more familiar with the subject matter. But economists also study other social systems because their working is so intermeshed with the economic system as to make it impossible to discuss usefully the economic system without simultaneously considering these other social systems. This is particularly true of parts of the legal system. This being so, we may expect the scope of economics to be permantly enlarged to include studies in the other social sciences.


Subject Matter Legal System Economic System Utility Theory Human Choice 
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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald H. Coase
    • 1
  1. 1.Law SchoolUniversity Of ChicagoUSA

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