Economics as a Moral Science (inaugural JRF Lecture)

A B Atkinson
22nd Jan 2008

Welfare economics is central to economics as a discipline, argues Tony Atkinson.

While welfare economics was a subject of importance half a century ago, today it has largely disappeared from the mainstream.

In this lecture, Professor Sir Tony Atkinson argues that welfare economics is not only a legitimate exercise, but one to which economists should devote more time and attention. Economics is a moral science. Welfare economics should be a central part of the discipline.

This was the inaugural Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture, delivered at the University of York on 22 January 2008.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture is an annual public lecture aimed at significantly advancing research and public understanding in the areas of welfare, poverty and social justice. The lecture is co-hosted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the University of York’s School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy.