Frequently asked questions

If you want to know what CORE offers, how to access it, or how to get the most benefit from what we offer, find the answer here

The Economy is not available as a PDF document. To purchase a print version please visit the Oxford University Press website. An epub version of The Economy, for free offline reading on mobile devices and e-readers, will be available soon.
We don’t know of a settled style for individual units in academic ebooks, but if you combine the referencing style for an ebook and treat each unit as a chapter, you get this (we have used Harvard style): Bowles, S., Carlin, W. and Stevens, M. (2017). ‘Property and power: Mutual gains and conflicts’. Unit 5 in The CORE Team, The Economy. Available at: http://www.core-econ.org. [Accessed on (date)].
The option of annotating CORE’s ebooks (for instance, by highlighting or bookmarking certain paragraphs) is not available at the moment. We’re hoping to develop these features in the future.
All the videos that appear in the CORE ebooks are also available on the CORE’s YouTube channel.
Ask your teacher! We don’t publish the answers to the exercises for students, but we do provide guides in our teacher notes. Remember though: there’s not always only one correct answer.
Contact us and tell us. This happens sometimes, but we will update it if we can.
We do. Every year we recruit a small number of student interns to do some of the many tasks involved with improving our resources and keeping our course up to date. If you would like to apply, write to contact@core-econ.org, with a copy of your CV and a short explanation of how you would contribute to the CORE project.
One of the reasons we created CORE is because we were dissatisfied with traditional courses, which often ignore important features of the world around us. So, in CORE, you will find some concepts that are not used in standard text books, and some models that look different too. We do this – using concepts and models from economics research – to explain some real-world ideas that we think are important to learn: for example, unemployment, power, or fairness. If you find this confusing, we suggest you talk to your teacher or TA about it.
Good news! The feedback we have from the students who used an early version is a resounding no. Because we encourage you to think about how the economy functions, we think it will help you to adapt to other courses, and learn new concepts. We also tested a group of our students, and found that those who did CORE in the first year seemed to perform better in a conventional course in the second year than had students the previous year who had not taken CORE.
CORE was designed to be used with classroom instruction, so you might find this to be hard work. At the moment none of the institutions teaching CORE offers an open distance-learning option, but we hope that one will be made available soon. But we are free, and open-access, so you are welcome to use the material as much, as often, and for as long as you like. Even if you don’t get all the way through a unit, you will still be able to go on through the book exploring the material.
Encourage your teacher to sign up, and we will do our best to help. Remind your teacher: CORE is free, and open-access.
This is a priority for us, but we rely on teams of volunteers to translate and localize our material. We are working hard to create local versions of our material. We have projects in several languages already. Follow us on Twitter (@coreeconteam) or keep in touch with the updates on our web site for more news.
At the moment, no. If you have studied calculus you can find links to our Leibniz supplements, which use more advanced methods than you will find in the main text.
The Economy is not available as a PDF document. To purchase a print version please visit the Oxford University Press website. An epub version of The Economy, for free offline reading on mobile devices and e-readers, will be available soon.
Everything you need to start using CORE in instruction is available for free on this website, nothing else is needed! Once you register you will have access to resources for teachers which will help you prepare and run your course. For instance, for The Economy (our introduction to economics ebook and course materials) these include lecture slides, teacher MCQs with answers, classroom games, complete teaching guides for each unit, downloadable data-sets for every chart in the book, and much more.
Access to ebooks is free and open to any CORE website visitor without the need for registration. Student are encouraged to register as this will give them access to additional resources, such as MCQs which they can use to test themselves.
CORE ebooks and all the resources published on the CORE website are licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. As long as the material is used for non-commercial and non-derivative purposes you are more than welcome to use them in any way you find it useful. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting us on contact@core-econ.org.
Yes. Under the Creative Commons licence you are allowed to distribute CORE material to your class, including through the learning management systems such as Moodle and Blackboard, as long as you give appropriate credit to CORE and provide a link to the CORE website.
We don’t know of a settled style for individual units in academic ebooks, but if you combine the referencing style for an ebook and treat each unit as a chapter, you get this (we have used Harvard style): Bowles, S., Carlin, W. and Stevens, M. (2017). ‘Property and power: Mutual gains and conflicts’. Unit 5 in The CORE Team, The Economy. Available at: http://www.core-econ.org. [Accessed on (date)].
A print version of CORE’s The Economy is available in print from Oxford University Press at http://tinyco.re/5311478. You can also request an inspection copy.
If you are teaching with CORE but your university is not on the list of institutions using CORE, please let us know and we’ll update the list. We are also interested in your experiences of teaching, good and bad.
Before you were approved for teacher access you have been automatically given a student account that doesn't include the ‘Resources for teachers’ section. The browser you’re using remembers this selection and is still accessing the website with a student account. You should log out and log back in, and the ‘Resources for teachers’ section should then be visible.
CORE is one response to the calls for a wider curriculum in economics. We believe that teaching needs to represent the best of economics, and embrace some ideas that traditional textbooks either downplayed or excluded. We also tried to show how the discipline is constantly evolving and changing to reflect the problems and values of the world around us. For more detail on how CORE addresses the needs for an economics for a changing world, read this article.
We hope not. Evidence from the teachers who already use CORE in non-traditional environments is that you can use the material if your students have never studied any economics, or do not have advanced mathematics skills. If you are unsure, contact us and we will do our best to put you in touch with a teacher who has experience.
You don’t have to teach all the units! For example, Units 17 to 22 are extension units. They can be taught at the end of a course, because they use conceptual and empirical tools that have been developed in earlier units, and we find that both students and teachers enjoy topics such as inequality and the environment, but not all introductory courses have room for them. If you have only one semester, a course along these lines has been taught at Humboldt University (Berlin), University of Sydney, and University of Bristol. Providing the basic concepts of the discipline in a single semester is a challenge but it can be done (in 14 weeks) using Units 1, 3 to 10, plus 12 to 16, ending the course with Unit 17 (an application of macroeconomics) or one of the other capstone units, stressing microeconomic applications.
We deliberately avoided dividing the text into two parts because we found that many students are confused by the often inconsistent approaches of the two ‘subdisciplines’ of economics. We set out to create a course that is internally consistent. But, if your course structure is to teach microeconomics only, The Toulouse School of Economics and the Lahore University of Management Sciences use The Economy as its introduction to microeconomics. This course might teach Unit 1 and Units 3 to 12, with the remaining weeks of the course devoted to a combination of Unit 2 with capstone Unit 21, or capstone Units 19 or 20. A one-semester introduction to macro based on the CORE text has been taught at Sciences Po, Paris and Middlebury College, Vermont, US. A possible configuration of such a course is Units 1 and 2, 6, 9 and 10, and 13 to 17, plus a selection of capstone Units 18-22, possibly including the material on disequilibrium dynamics from Unit 11.
Active classroom learning can also be encouraged by the use of 'flipped' or 'inverted' approaches, in which traditional lectures are replaced by interactive sessions based on problems, games or discussions. In these teaching approaches, students are assigned material (readings, quizzes or videos, for example) before class, which is then used as a basis for discussion and activity in the classes. Classroom polling software (or student response systems) can be used to test students’ engagement with the assigned tasks through quizzes, and games and data work can then be used to deepen understanding. The Economy lends itself well to this approach, because many units progress from real case studies and narratives to the selection and use of appropriate theoretical tools for understanding the case studies, and then to the detailed underlying theory. One approach to flipping the classroom is to encourage (and incentivize) students to read the narratives and case studies before class, and to think about the economic tools that can help explain these cases. The detailed use and understanding of the tools and theory can then be developed within the class, including with the use of problem-oriented data work and classroom experiments and games. Experience in many classrooms with the beta versions of The Economy suggests that students engage more readily in pre-class reading of the interactive ebook than in previous introductory courses.
One of the advantages of being online is that we can correct errors as soon as we spot them. You can help us by reporting any errors or broken links using our contact page.
We welcome volunteers. CORE is created by its community, although our need for volunteers changes regularly. We always need people who can help offer advice to new teachers, and who may be able to help with translations. If you would like to contribute in any way, please let us know.
Our funders are listed here. We will always be open and transparent about who funds us. The ideas that go into our material are always are own, and are constantly reviewed by teachers, academics and students.
We don’t claim to be a single source of truth—that’s why our texts include sections on disagreement among economists, and we try to highlight the interesting debates in modern (and historical) economics, so that teachers and students can debate and investigate them. On the other hand, when we state facts, we try to have all of them independently checked. You can see the fact checks here. If you think that we have got our facts wrong, please let us know.
As we are grant funded, we have considerable stability. Also, being staffed mostly by volunteers and using online publishing, we can keep our running costs low. We are growing quickly, and using our resources to spread adoption to many more countries, and train a new cadre of teachers. CORE is far more than a product: it is a living community. The best way to keep it strong is to join us!
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