Paul Seabright on micro: “Beauty, simplicity, and lack of realism”


In a new post at Project Syndicate, Prof Paul Seabright (right) of the Toulouse School of Economics focuses on the central problem of teaching introductory microeconomics: how to reconcile elegance and clarity with reality. We should do more, he says, to show undergraduates that realistic economic models can be understood with comparatively simple tools. He describes the Arrow-Debreu model of general competitive equilibrium as the epitome of that formal elegance: It embodies, he says, “the beauty, simplicity, and lack of realism of the two fundamental theorems of competitive equilibrium… while researchers attempt to grasp complex, real-world situations, students are pondering unrealistic […]

Bring research into the classroom


On 5 December Wendy Carlin, our project director, visited the BBC for two interviews in response to the Post-Crash Economics Society at the University of Manchester, whose interesting blog sets out their arguments against the current syllabus, and explains the changes they would like to see. Wendy debated with Professor Abhinay Muthoo, head of Economics at the University of Warwick. First, they spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, which covers the news between 6am and 9am every morning, and is the most popular news programme on British radio. You can listen to the audio stream of the programme using this […]

Saving the baby, not the bathwater


Since the launch of the CORE curriculum project, the amount of interest in how economics is taught has surprised (in a good way) even our team. Some of the most authoritative names in academic economics have joined the debate. The argument made by three of them in the past week is that we don’t need to jettison economic theory; placing it in context, and teaching it in the correct order, may answer many of the objections raised by undergraduates.

How are we building the CORE curriculum?


Following last week’s articles about us in the FT and the Economist, we remind you – and ourselves – of what project leader Wendy Carlin said at our launch: we need to move on from good ideas, because we have committed to pilot a new introductory economics course in less than a year. So we’re already hard at work creating the CORE curriculum for launch in September 2014.

CORE in the Economist, too


Clearly we’re delighted that The Economist chose to write about the INET CORE Project. Click on this link to read it in the online version of the magazine (requires registration, but after registering you can read it for free). We would recommend you take the time to register and read the online version, because there are some excellent and well-informed comments below the line. Otherwise, here’s the text:

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