HOME > Introduction > Aim and Agendas

Aim and Agendas


Economics has long been established as a positive science. However, it should not be restricted from tackling normative issues as long as it addresses a wide range of social problems. The Center promotes dialogue among different academic disciplines with respect to tackling normative issues in economics and it also fosters historical, methodological, empirical, and philosophical explorations in normative economic theory.


  1. In the area of basic theoretical research, the Center facilitates: (a) collaboration between normative economic analyses and positive economic analyses and (b) cooperation among economics, political philosophy, ethics, and legal studies.
  2. In applied empirical research, the Center promotes cooperation among researchers working on different subjects in public policy (laws, rules, and institutions). The subjects include, for example, medical care, welfare benefits, disability policy, nursing care, traffic and transportation, information, knowledge, and communication. The Center also promotes the integration of research on these subjects with more traditional themes such as inequality, poverty and/or exploitation.
  3. Based on the cooperative efforts mentioned above, the Center aims for a synthesis between basic theoretical research and applied empirical research.
  4. The Center seeks to develop closer ties with domestic research organizations in different fields with similar research interests. These research fields include, for example, political philosophy, legal studies, civil engineering, health economics and ethics, social security, and social welfare.
  5. The Center seeks to develop closer ties with overseas research organizations with similar research interests. It can encourage, for example, collaboration between research groups developing multidimensional poverty indices at Oxford University, the ‘Beyond GDP’ indices at Princeton University, and the Japanese research network concerning the capability approach.
  6. The Center proposes to outline a contemporary history of theories and ideas in welfare economics, dating back to the early days of the New Welfare Economics. We expect collaboration with Amartya Sen, Allan Gibbard, Peter Hammond, and other distinguished scholars.
  7. With extensive archive materials available at the Institute, the Center proposes to review the birth of welfare economics before the Second World War and its subsequent development and characterize its history in light of the evolution of the existing welfare state system.
  8. The Center plans to conduct fundamental and comprehensive research on new theories and methods in normative economics, including, for example, the capability approach and studies in rules for fair distribution and expanded notions of rationality.