Most of the social sciences and even disciplines have a stable relationship with economics. And rightly so because our world is so interconnected. But there are certain fields which remained separated from this interdisciplinary connection.

One of them is anthropology. Reading on the web there isn't much work done by both researchers in collaboration. What are some examples in the literature of this? And which papers would have benefited from an interdisciplinary approach but didn't take the chance to do so?

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    $\begingroup$ I am voting to close this question,because although it is interesting, it is primarily opinion based. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Jul 13, 2015 at 6:27
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    $\begingroup$ I agree, maybe an answerable question would be a literature request about interdisciplinary work with anthropology or a question about papers in which an interdisciplinary approach would have been a good idea but wasn't used. Not quite what you are asking right know (therefore I did not edit your question) but it might help to find answers to your question. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2015 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ I would agree this would be better phrased as a literature review. If edited to ask that question then this may be an interesting paper to peruse: ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/23502.html $\endgroup$
    – cc7768
    Jul 13, 2015 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ @TheAlmightyBob I accept your criticisms. I will edit the question so that it is more suitable to the site policy. $\endgroup$
    – hedphelym
    Jul 13, 2015 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ @LeoLerena Jared Diamond's books are slightly relevant. David Graeber's as well. Though Graeber got much criticism from econs. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2015 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


In economics, people usually use mathematics as an intermediary to understand some economic mechanisms that would be difficult to understand without maths. Economists usually focus more on mechanisms in an analytic way than some historical facts in these mechanisms. That's a little bit what it is said "homo economicus"

Youtube Lecture Link

This link could be interesting for you but I don't know really (and don't think) some mainstream orthodox economists interested in the link between anthropology and economics.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the link. I will surely watch it later. Do you think economics and anthropology are mainly isolated one from the other because of their different methodologies? $\endgroup$
    – hedphelym
    Jul 15, 2015 at 2:44
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    $\begingroup$ I think this could be one of the many different reasons but we know that each discipline has its own methodology and pluridisciplinary studies are always difficult to be accepted in academics. I will a little bit develop the last part of my answer. Mainstream economists (orthodox economists) are interested in mechanisms, which are "timeless". As anthropology takes the "chronology" of facts into account in its methodology, the methods are in contradiction. This fact of being "timeless" in economic thinking is also pointed out as a critic by some people to Thomas Piketty's last seminal study. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2015 at 20:13

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