Very interesting interview with Amartya Sen in "Economic Intelligence," particularly his thoughts on the other work of Adam smith:
Smith described how the market economy works very well. However, he also pointed out why we need the state and well-reasoned regulation. He was also very much concerned about redistributional issues as well as issues of poverty. In fact, nothing engaged Adam Smith more than the issue of poverty.And, on the use of mathematics in economics:
I don’t think that there is any conflict between mathematical reasoning and being interested in the history of thought. Many of our early thinkers were quite mathematical. The connection between mathematics and economics is very strong, and there is no reason to be ashamed of it. What is to be avoided is to be concentrated only on mathematical economics. We must not neglect the insights that come from parts of the subject where mathematics is not sensible to use and different kinds of reasoning are useful. I don’t think the conflict is between mathematics and other kinds of methods. The conflict is between taking an integrated, broad, comprehensive view as opposed to a narrow view whether it is mathematical or anti-mathematical.
Take a look here!