The Economy

The Economy


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A complete introduction to economics and the economy; student-centred and motivated by real-world problems and real-world data.

The Economy is a course in economics. Throughout, we start with a question or a problem about the economy—why the advent of capitalism is associated with a sharp increase in average living standards, for example—and then teach the tools of economics that contribute to an answer.

For each question, the material is in the same sequence. We begin with a historical or current problem, even if it is a complex one, and then we use models to illuminate it. CORE’s pedagogy thus flips the convention in economics texts on its head. Traditionally, the models are derived first. Perhaps the introduction to the models includes a simple application such as shopping, and a promise that the model will be applied to economic problems in the real world either later in the course, or more likely in later courses.

Because CORE starts with big problems and questions from history and current affairs, the models and explanations we use need to take account of real-world phenomena. For example, actors never have complete information about everything relevant to the decisions they are making, motives other than self-interest are also important, and the exercise of power in strategic behaviour often has to be part of the explanation for the outcome we see.

Online, app and print versions available from the CORE-ECON project.

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