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Economy, Society, and Public Policy – final units launched

The CORE project has launched beta versions of the next four units of the Economy, Society and Public Policy (ESPP) e-book, in time for the new academic year.

The CORE project, which has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation, is an open-access economics reform initiative, based at University College London. Its signature online course uses real-world data to teach topics such as inequality, unemployment and the environment that are rarely taught in traditional economics courses.

The free, open access e-book is designed to introduce non-economists to economic methods. All 12 units are now available online.

In this release of ESPP, Unit 10 is on ‘Banks, money, housing, and financial assets’, covering what money is, where it comes from, bubbles, and bailouts. Unit 11 is on ‘Market failures and government policy’, dealing with the problem of external effects, how they arise, examining whether private bargaining can resolve them or whether governments need to intervene. Finally, Unit 12 completes the course by looking at the respective roles of ‘Governments and markets in a democratic society’.

What is in the course?

A walkthrough of ESPP and Doing Economics

The CORE team have also updated and expanded Doing Economics, the companion volume that started out as a set of data exercises to complement ESPP.

The data that the authors of Doing Economics have used shows how diverse and exciting open-access economic data has become. Students will examine banking systems around the world in Unit 10, climate change mitigation in Unit 11 and the Hong Kong cash handout in Unit 12.

The University of Bristol has been teaching CORE to its economics students since our first beta. Now it is creating a suite of Bristol Futures courses available as options to students across the University. One of these courses will be based on material and datasets from the ESPP and Doing Economics e-book. The team, led by Professor Alvin Birdi, is both adapting the original text and writing fresh content to create data-driven courses that will suit the format and the audience.

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We improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in EducationWelfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We offer our grant-holders the freedom to frame questions and enable new thinking. Our research must stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny, but we understand that to be successful in effecting change, it also needs to be relevant to people’s experience.