Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College, MA, US. This is the text of her address to the INET CORE Project workshop on 11 November 2013. Forty years ago a group of engineers and scientists at MIT began warning about the impacts of global economic activity on planetary ecosystems. They published a bestselling book called Limits to Growth in which they predicted that, if we continued with what we now call “business as usual”, there would be severe economic and ecological repercussions in the opening decades of the 21st century.
[wpnewcarousel name=”CORE launch” width=”” height=”” effect=”” startslide=”” animationspeed=”” imagepausetime=”” shownav=”” hoverpause=”” ] On 11 November our launch at HM Treasury attracted academics, professional economists, the press and, of course, economics students. We want to thank all of you who came, and all of you who have offered to help. In the next few months we will keep you up to date with the progress of our curriculum reform project, and follow us on Twitter for more news and links.
Is curriculum reform relevant outside academia? The Financial Times thinks so, focussing on whether economics teaching is giving today’s students the tools they need to understand, and discuss, the world around us. It covered the launch of the CORE Project three times: on Monday, its coverage of our launch event quoted Prof Wendy Carlin, our project leader:
Between 9.30am and 1pm on 11 November we launched the INET CORE Project with a workshop at HM Treasury in London. In the next few weeks we will publish more about ideas and debates from the event, but The Economics Network storified the tweets from the event, so click on the link to get an instant idea of what happened.
Macroeconomic models are invaluable. They enable us to reduce complicated phenomena to manageable proportions and reason systematically. If you doubt this, try thinking through the impact of a change in monetary or fiscal policy without referring in your head to some sort of model – eg an ISLM, AD/AS, or IS/PC/MR model. For me, at least, it’s very difficult.