A note to instructors

Economy, Society, and Public Policy
by the CORE team

Target audience

Our target audience includes:


Continuing in economics

Course design principles

Flexible course design

Economy, Society, and Public Policy can be taught either as a one-term or one-semester course, or as a two-term or two-semester course. It introduces the key economic actors: firms, customers, employees, owners, borrowers, and lenders as well as government policymakers, citizens as voters, and the central bank, plus their market and non-market interactions. A model of the aggregate economy is developed in Unit 8, which allows students to see how decisions made in the labour and product markets by owners, workers, and customers interact to determine unemployment and the distribution of income.

ESPP and Doing Economics as part of a connected curriculum

Doing Economics: Empirical Projects by Eileen Tipoe and Ralf Becker

These hands-on projects are designed so that they can either be used independently, in conjunction with the ESPP units, or in conjunction with units from The Economy.

If you are teaching a social science, engineering, business and management, or public policy program in which students have to take an economics course and a quantitative methods course, you can use ESPP and Doing Economics projects to connect these parts of the curriculum.

Suggested course structures

Semester 1: Economy, Society, and Public Policy

Using units from Economy, Society, and Public Policy:

ESPP Unit Title Doing Economics
1 Capitalism and democracy: Affluence, inequality, and the environment Empirical Project 1: Measuring climate change (datasets: Goddard Institute for Space Studies temperature data; US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration CO~2~ data)
2 Social interactions and economic outcomes Empirical Project 2: Collecting and analysing data from experiments (datasets: student-generated experimental data; Hermann et al. 2008)
3 Public policy for fairness and efficiency Empirical Project 3: Measuring the effect of a sugar tax (datasets: Global Food Research Program’s Berkeley Store Price Survey; Silver et al. 2017)
4 Work, wellbeing, and scarcity Empirical Project 4: Measuring wellbeing (datasets: UN GDP data; Human Development Index)
5 Institutions, power, and inequality Empirical Project 5: Measuring inequality: Lorenz curves and Gini coefficients (dataset: Our world in data)
6 The firm: Employees, managers, and owners Empirical Project 6: Measuring management practices (dataset: World Management Survey)
7 Firms and markets for goods and services Empirical Project 7: Supply and demand (dataset: US market for watermelons (1930–1951); taken from Stewart (2018))
8 The labour market and product market: Unemployment and inequality Empirical Project 8: Measuring the non-monetary cost of unemployment (dataset: European Values Study)
9 The credit market: Borrowers, lenders, and the rate of interest Empirical Project 9: Credit-excluded households in a developing country (dataset: Ethiopian Socioeconomic Survey)
10 Banks, money, housing, and financial assets Empirical Project 10: Characteristics of banking systems around the world (dataset: World Bank Global Financial Development Database)
11 Market successes and failures Empirical Project 11: Measuring willingness to pay for climate change mitigation (dataset: German survey data, taken from Uehleke (2016))
12 Governments and markets in a democratic society Empirical Project 12: Government policies and popularity: Hong Kong cash handout (datasets: University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme and the Hong Kong poverty situation report (published by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department))

Semester 2, option 1: Macroeconomic policy

Using units on the aggregate economy from The Economy:

Unit Title
13 Economic fluctuations and unemployment
14 Unemployment and fiscal policy
15 Inflation, unemployment, and monetary policy
16 Technological progress, employment, and living standards in the long run
17 Capstone: The Great Depression, golden age, and global financial crisis

Semester 2, option 2: Economic Policies for innovation, sustainability, and fairness

Using units from The Economy on the future of work, globalization, inequality, environment, and innovation:

Unit Title
16 Technological progress, employment, and living standards in the long run
18 Capstone: The nation and the world economy
19 Capstone: Economic inequality
20 Capstone: Economics of the environment
21 Capstone: Innovation, information, and the networked economy