Markets for Collective Concerns, Market Failures, and Policy-making

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/02/2020 - 2:22pm in

by Christian Frankel, José Ossandón and Trine Pallesen* As Foucault (2008) pointed out 40 years ago, the economic thinking of the Ordoliberals in Germany, the Chicago School in the United States, and Austrian economists such as Hayek, represented an important … Continue reading →

Meet Lara Merling, a Young Scholar in Washington, DC

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/01/2020 - 4:08am in



Every so often, we highlight one of the members of the YSI community. We share their story, their aspirations, and what new economic thinking means to them. This time, we cover Lara Merling, alumna of the Levy Economics Institute, co-founder of Economic Questions, and currently, Economic Research Officer at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in Washington, DC. This spring, Lara is helping members of YSI come together in DC to host various workshops.

How did you wind up in economics?

Pavlina Tcherneva’s class on Money and Banking converted many students to economics, myself included. It made me realize how economics and particularly economic policy defines so much of our lives. And as I advanced, I realized the issues in the discipline itself. All economics is political, but the models in our textbooks manage to hide their assumptions, and present themselves as objective science. In my masters degree, I studied not just the neoclassical models, but also their critiques, and many alternative ideas and approaches. I was able to do research that shows the failures of neoclassical economics, along with the real human costs that it’s policies (such as austerity) bring about.

How is it to work at the intersection of research and policy making in DC?

As an Economic Research Officer in the Washington office of the ITUC, which represents over 200 million workers globally, I draw on the insights from my research to advocate at the IMF and World Bank for better and fairer policies for working people everywhere. 

That said, it’s not without difficulty. Policy makers tend to uphold economics as a precise and objective science. In reality, there are politics behind every economic model, and we should not pretend otherwise. One may expect that policy makers are in a good position to understand that, but there is still a widespread tendency to stick with the most widespread models, label them as “sound economics” and use them to justify a political agenda; tricky business when people’s lives depend on it.

Furthermore, when it comes to translating research into policy, much of the caution expressed by academics around the certainty of their conclusions is lost when policymakers give in to the temptation to cherry-pick findings, and emphasize those that support their agenda. This way, nuanced findings with various limitations can quickly turn into something that appears to be a solid fact. 

To make matters worse, institutions such as the IMF and World Bank continue to glorify neoclassical economists, despite their poor track record in terms of predicting real world events, and helping countries actually develop. But much of my professors, who for decades have been marginalized by these institutions, have persisted in their work and seen their predictions proven right. They have stood strong, and continue to put their energy towards an economics that works for society, not against it. And I can draw upon them for inspiration when things feel like an uphill battle.

What are your hopes and dreams?

I am working not just to further develop my perspectives on the policy failures of neoclassical economics, but also to contribute to alternative frameworks that can address the big challenges of our time. One of the approaches I focus on in my work is that of prioritizing full employment and sustainable growth. Making these explicit goals changes the game for economic policy making. They provide a lens through which to explore new solutions to the challenges of our time.

My hope is for a world in which all economists learn about and engage with a variety of schools of thought, and have to argue their positions based on evidence and logical arguments, rather than theories taken for granted. We should all be aware of the history of economics and understand the institutions that we encounter in the real world.

Contact Lara Merling via the Young Scholars Directory.

The post Meet Lara Merling, a Young Scholar in Washington, DC appeared first on Economic Questions .

Migration Policy Update: No Free Lunch, Hippies!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 15/01/2020 - 10:02pm in



NB: A cross-posted policy update for migrations at Reclaim Hosting.

Image credit: Hippies de Valdivia (Chile) leo.prie.to

In an effort to make our support as sustainable as possible we will only provide free migrations for students and faculty that move to Reclaim Hosting’s shared services from a current university-based Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) account. All other migrations to our shared hosting service will start at $25 per site.

Screenshot of Migration Assitance PageClick on image for the Migration Assistance Page

Given our growth over the last few years we have found migrations demand more and more of our resources given the significant time commitment they require.  As a result we needed to re-visit our current free migrations policy for new accounts as it’s become increasingly untenable. And while we will continue to provide free migrations for clients migrating from DoOO schools, we have decided to charge a reasonable fee for all other new clients in order to balance the workload to ensure we can continue to deliver the world-class support that folks have come to expect.

Additionally, if we believe a migration will take an inordinate amount of time, we will provide a detailed estimate of anticipated time/costs for the work before proceeding.

Thanks for your both your continued support and understanding.

Party political conferences – A key site for research impact

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/12/2019 - 10:00pm in

Party political conferences provide a unique opportunity for academics to engage with politicians and the policymaking process, as well as a variety of different stakeholders in any given policy issue. In this post, Dr Grace Lordan, Professor Tony Travers, Dr Anna Valero and Megan Marsh describe how academics and the public affairs team at LSE have used party political conferences […]

The winners of the 2019 Schools Economics Challenge

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/11/2019 - 4:07am in

Why is addressing climate change so difficult?

That’s the question we posed in the 2019 Schools Economics Challenge, in which we partnered with the Financial Times for Schools. Teams were challenged to create an accessible and entertaining short video, making use of The Economy (if you’re wondering what we have to say about the climate emergency, you’ll find it in Unit 20, “The Economics of the Environment”.

Winner: Dulwich College Shanghai

(£1,000 for the school and £500 Amazon vouchers for students)

Dulwich College Shanghai studentsCongratulations to (left to right) Fredric Kong, Aria Jain, Jonathan Dragon, Cherry But, Dominic Woetzel, and Titan Tsui for a video that the judges decided was “clearly willing to both raise and critique theories that matter”. It was “interesting and well-structured … The students displayed an ability to engage critically with the question and to back up their arguments.”

You can see for yourself:

“I believe that students, the voice of the future, should become more engaged in environmental protection and speaking out about the importance of reducing climate change,” Titan says, “The challenge has encouraged me to think outside the box and has given me the skills needed to break those complex issues apart and to see the issue from another perspective. The challenge augmented my analytical skills, but has also made me a more open-minded person.”

“With the CORE SEC, our team was introduced to the imperfect markets which characterise much of reality. In developing countries with weaker institutions and less developed infrastructure, these imperfect markets are more prevalent and likely to make internalising the externality more difficult … this is a testament to the social and political importance of economics,” Fredric adds.

Fiona Charnley, the head of Business and Economics at Dulwich College Shanghai, submitted the entry on behalf of her students. “We see economics as a dynamic subject so links between theory and real world application are very much encouraged in class discussions, and also in assessment tasks,” she says, “The team are very much engaged with sustainability and see the video as an opportunity to spread important information about the challenges of addressing climate change.”

Second place: Toldy Ferenc Gimnázium, Budapest

(£750 for the school and £300 Amazon vouchers for students)

Balázs Bellus, Rozi Lili Mezei, Bence Kis, and Zsombor Zilahy submitted their own very creative animation, including what one judge called “a unique proposal for a new international organisation to help coordinate and even implement climate policies”. As another judge commented: “It is inspiring to hear the students come up with their own ideas on how to tackle climate change.”

Third place: Merchant Taylors’ School, London

(£500 for the school and £200 Amazon vouchers for students)

The video from Bert Edwards, Zak Torns, William Bettridge, and James Tillotson was partly recorded on location in central London on the evening of the global climate strike. It broke new ground for student video competition winners by working in a reference to the Treaty of Westphalia. Judges were also impressed by “a great understanding of core concepts in modern economics.”

Winner, collaborative entry: Hammersmith Academy and St Paul’s Boys School, London

(£1,000 for each school and £500 Amazon vouchers for students)

Each year, participating schools may each enter one additional collaborative entry with another local school. This year the winning collaboration was submitted by Lorena Russo, Luke Polmear, James Allen, and Kourosh Chaharsough Shirazi.

Judges praised a “wide range of economic theory”, including discussion of lobbying power and politics, and “one of the few videos to use game theory and explain it well to a general audience.”


Congratulations to the winners, thanks for all your entries. And if you are a teacher and want to help your students investigate the data behind the climate emergency, why not investigate our Doing Economics projects on the topic?

The post The winners of the 2019 Schools Economics Challenge appeared first on CORE.

Why We Miss Obama

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/08/2019 - 4:39pm in

Trump’s loudmouth shenanigans have Democrats longing for Obama. But let’s not forget the fact that Obama’s policies and Trump’s don’t differ much.

Launching today: Economy, Society and Public Policy version 1.0

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/08/2019 - 8:15pm in

Today we can unveil the 1.0 version of Economy, Society and Public Policy (ESPP), designed to introduce the power and excitement of economics to a wider audience – whether they are non-specialists taking a course in economics, in the workplace, or learning for themselves.

ESPP 1.0 is online now and, as always, is free and open-access. As with our other publications, it is the joint work of The CORE Team. You can find out more about who has contributed to ESPP here.

The 1.0 launch of our second ebook is another major milestone for CORE. ESPP has been two-and-a-half years in the making: at the beginning of 2017, we were given a grant by the Nuffield Foundation to develop a course for students who were not majoring in economics. The idea was that they could learn economic methods by engaging with policy issues such as inequality, climate change and innovation.

Our idea was to produce units that were inspired by The Economy, our text for economics majors that has been used in 206 countries, by more than 87,000 learners that we know of, and more than 8,300 teachers. ESPP shares some of the discussion, figures and models, but is focused on public policy and has been designed to be accessible to students from every background and discipline.

If you have seen or taught last year’s beta version (it lives on, here), you may be wondering what’s different in version 1.0. The structure remains the same, but there are five major improvements:

1. A major rewrite in response to feedback

We pride ourselves on listening to ideas and opinions from a wide range of sources, including reviewers and academics and teachers, but also students’ experiences, so that we can crowdsource a better textbook.

We successfully pioneered this approach for The Economy, and we have applied it just as rigorously here. This spring and summer we rewrote, adapted and updated large sections of ESPP to make it easier to teach and more readable, but crucially to bring the empirical, policy-led approach out even more. Teachers and students alike told us that this was what interested them most about economics.

2. Interactive data charts at Our World in Data

For the first time, many of ESPP‘s figures now have links to the website of our partner Our World in Data (OWiD). You can now click on the button to see the latest data in an interactive format. Look for a clickable button underneath many of the data figures in ESPP:

For example here’s ESPP Figure 4.2 (Figure 3.1 in The Economy too) in OWiD’s interactive version.

Top left and right: a video timeline, and a button to download the data.  Bottom left and right: the sources in full, save the output as an image, and note the buttons for social media.

3. Combining labour market, product market, and the economy in a single model

There’s a major innovation in Unit 8.

Since day one of the project, we have argued that product and labour markets are fundamentally different in their structure (as intermediate and advanced students will learn). We do not help introductory students when we draw crossing curves of labour demand and labour supply, and then create reasons why the empirical data on wages, inequality and unemployment don’t match what this model tells us.

We believe our treatment of the labour market has always been a better introduction. But, for the first time, we have found a way to integrate it into a single model of a firm that sets a price and wage, extend it to the aggregate economy, and show the outcome for unemployment and inequality.

“One way to think about it is that it’s CORE’s alternative to consumption, production and general equilibrium,” says Wendy Carlin, who leads our steering group, You can listen to Wendy explaining how the model works in Session 9 of the 2019 CORE workshop.

4. Closer integration with Doing Economics

It has been a busy summer, as we are also improving and expanding the 12 empirical projects in Doing Economics. While you can use either text independently, we believe they complement each other even better than before – not least because many teachers have adopted ESPP for courses with a strong quantitative element. You will find a guide to the matching empirical project at the end of each unit of ESPP. (And, if you want to find out how teachers have used it in their courses, Session 6 of the 2019 CORE workshop will help.)

5. Windows, Android and Apple iBook apps

Watch this space! They will be available later this week. Apps mean you can access the material even when you don’t have a data connection. Check back on our website for the links.

A print edition, too

On 12 September at 6:45pm, Oxford University Press will launch the print book at the ‘Developments in Economics Education’ conference at the University of Warwick. You can order copies online here.

Just as with The Economy, the printed version will have an affordable price. It will sell for £34.99 in the UK. And as always, we continue to be free and open-access online.


We hope you agree with us that the 1.0 version of ESPP is the best text available to teach these topics to non-economics students. If you are teaching it already, please tell us about your experience (we will be covering some of the feedback we have already in our next blog). If you have feedback on any element of the 1.0 version, or are planning to use ESPP in your teaching and would like to contact a teacher who has experience using the text, please let us know.

The post Launching today: Economy, Society and Public Policy version 1.0 appeared first on CORE.

Keeping the Charities Commission Opens Door to Real Reform

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 24/02/2015 - 9:55am in

Australia Failing to Close the Gap

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/02/2015 - 10:14am in

NFPs Warn of Homelessness Program Closures in Govt Appeal

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/02/2015 - 8:48am in