Economics and interdisciplinary trade

Stream leader: Uskali Mäki

Economics is presently torn between two opposing trends of interdisciplinary interaction. On the one hand, economic concepts, models and methods have been increasingly used in other sciences (such as sociology, political science, law and biology). Special attention will be given to the expansive spread of the market concept as a form of marketisation (see www.helsinki.fi/market). On the other hand, economics has recently come under pressure by influences flowing from other disciplines (such as experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary biology), giving rise to new subfields such as behavioural economics and neuroeconomics.

A critical scrutiny of these trends will presuppose as well as help refine an understanding of the identity of economics in terms of its theory and method as well as its proper domain of application. Based on the analysis of these trends, the general notions of scientific unification, integration, and cross-fertilisation will be critically re-illuminated.