Royal Economic Society announces support for The CORE Project

 28 November 2017

The Royal Economic Society (RES) has announced a three-year funding programme for the CORE project. The funds will help to train and build networks of teachers who wish to switch to use CORE’s approach to teaching economics, and to introduce the material to PhD students and new lecturers. CORE will partner with the Economics Network to deliver this work.

CORE, which stands for Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics (, is an international collaboration of researchers that has created an online, free, introductory economics ebook called The Economy. It is already the basis of the first year of economics degrees offered by more than a dozen universities in the UK, including University College London, King’s College London, and The University of Bristol. It is currently creating a new course in economics for students in other degree programmes, CORE EQuSS, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Alongside the free interactive ebook, Oxford University Press published a paper copy of The Economy, priced at £39.99 to make it accessible to as many students as possible.

“Supporting activities which build a wider engagement in and understanding of economics will be a key part of the RES’s strategy in the coming years”, said Leighton Chipperfield, RES Chief Executive. “CORE is helping students apply the tools of the discipline to some of the major issues of our time. In announcing this support, the Society encourages more teachers and students to benefit from its innovative approach.”

“We are delighted that the Royal Economic Society is supporting CORE in its objective of making economics an exciting and accessible subject relevant to the complex problems we face” says Wendy Carlin, Director of the CORE project. “Early results suggest that students thrive on CORE, and perform better in the later years of their degrees if they study using CORE in the first year.”

“The Economics Network has always encouraged economics staff to engage with the latest advancements in pedagogy. CORE’s unique approach to content facilitates innovative and effective teaching by developing the tools of economics through active student engagement with complex real-world issues. We are excited to be involved with this initiative and look forward to creating networks of less and more experienced users of CORE with the aim of building a community of curriculum innovators in economics.” Alvin Birdi, Director, The Economics Network.

RES has committed a cash grant of £15,000 per annum for three years, beginning in 2018, to help train teachers, PhD students and teaching assistants who wish to find out about CORE and how to switch to using the course. This will be coordinated with an initiative already underway at CORE USA, based at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Why CORE is different

CORE was created in 2013 as a response to concerns that the economics curriculum was becoming disconnected from the needs of learners, economics departments and employers, and also from the lived experience of potential students. It is different from existing economics texts in several ways:

  • It is problem-motivated. Units begin with empirical observations, and interactive models are introduced to make sense of them. This avoids the problem that topics of interest to students and teachers alike, such as involuntary unemployment, the role of innovation, market failure and the effects of inequality, are missed out of the models in standard introductory textbooks, or included only at the end.
  • It brings recent developments in the subject into the classroom. While the frontier of economic research has expanded dramatically since Paul Samuelson published Economics in 1948, the teaching of introductory courses has hardly changed. CORE incorporates a richer conception of human motivation than homo economicus, tools such as game theory, and concepts like power from the first weeks of a course.
  • It gives everyone the tools to understand the economics of the world around them. CORE is not just about learning theory. Through its interactive models, videos, data exercises and classroom experiments, students learn how to apply their economic knowledge to real-world scenarios.

The material in CORE was created using a revolutionary process by which more than 20 authors cooperated to donate their time. The interactive online version was created using open-source software tools, and is available both in desktop and mobile versions. Volunteers around the world are currently preparing French, Italian and Spanish translations, which will have the same functionality as the English text.

Praise for CORE

Teachers and employers worldwide have praised CORE’s innovative approach:

“CORE is good for economics and for economic policy.”
Her Majesty’s Treasury, UK

“The CORE Project is the best innovation in economic education that I have seen in my career.”
Christian Gollier, Founder and former Director of the Toulouse School of Economics

“CORE is a brilliant way to introduce students to economics: it combines state of the art economic theory with a big-picture perspective on modern development; and it does it using a variety of new teaching tools that students love.”
Nikolaus Wolf, Professor of Economics at Humboldt University of Berlin

“CORE does not shy away from the complexity of the problems we face. The CORE materials are so good they make me want to teach introductory economics again.”
Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

Anyone wishing to speak to CORE teachers or current students, please contact Luka Crnjakovic, below, who will put you in touch.

Notes for Editors


The CORE Project

Based at University College London, the Curriculum Open-Access Resources in Economics (CORE) Project provides free, open-access resources for teaching and learning introductory economics. It is currently used in 186 countries by more than 56,000 learners and more than 5,500 teachers, as well as in 58 universities around the world. For a full list of CORE adopters, and for access to the material, visit

The Royal Economics Society

The Royal Economic Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious economic associations in the world. It is a learned society, founded in 1890 to promote the study of economic science in academic life, government service, business, industry and public affairs. The Society has approximately 4,000 members, of whom the majority live outside the United Kingdom.



The Royal Economics Society

Leighton Chipperfield
Chief Executive
[email protected]
+44 7415 511988

The Economics Network

Ashley Lait
Centre Manager
[email protected]
+44 117 4282451

The CORE Project

Luka Crnjakovic
CORE Project Manager
[email protected]
+44 20 3549 5479