Working with the CORE project on economics education; RES article

Phil has been working with the team behind the CORE Project, which promotes economics teaching motivated by addressing pressing real-world problems using the best economic
research. CORE had produced three textbooks, available free online to students, that show a new way of teaching and learning economics, using the best research to address the world’s most pressing problems.

The project’s websites highlights the 380 institutions across the world are using CORE in teaching 115,000 students each year. Phil has written profiles of several dozen institutions across the world. These include universities in the developing world such as the American University of Afghanistan, emerging market universities including the University of Cape Town, and longstanding advanced economy colleges such as the University of Oxford and Duke University in the US.

More recently, a new centre in the Department of Economics at University College London is being set up to develop novel research and education initiatives, focusing on the causes and consequences of wealth concentration. One aim of the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Centre on Wealth Concentration, Inequality and the Economy is to support the CORE Project.

The centre’s co-director is Wendy Carlin, Professor of Economics at UCL and Director of
CORE. In an article for the January 2022 edition of the Royal Economic Society newsletter, she told Phil that the centre will have a very active visitor programme on the education and the research side, and every research activity is going to have an education component.

Co-director and also Professor at Economics at UCL, Imran Rasul, said that UCL can become a hub for new thinking about the deep underlying features of the economic system that drive
inequalities of different types, and for analysing what might be done about them.

The Centre will have resources to fund PhD students and post-doc positions, provide grants
for data and research projects, and finance visits to the other five Stone Centres in the US and France.

Insight into first-year econ undergrads’ key priorities

Every year the CORE Project, the team behind the campaign to radically transformed economics education, asks teachers at the universities that use their free textbooks to survey their first-years about what they see as the key economic issues.

This year the top issue is inequality, as it has been since the starting polling in 2016. This year that was closely followed by Covid-19, climate change, and unemployment – reflecting the problems that they hope the economics profession can explain and solve. Note that the traditional obsessions of orthodox economists (inflation, equilibrium,supply/demand, inflation) are way down the list.

COREproduce word clouds for the aggregate conclusions from all 17 universities that took part as well as individual word clouds from the cohorts from North America, Europe and Asia. My blog summarising the findings can be found here

Profile of World Bank economist and news on sukuk finance

Phil had two articles published in the latest edition of EMEA Finance, the magazine and website covering financial issues across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

One was a profile of the chief economist at the World Bank, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, who has stepped down temporarily from her chair at Yale University to head up the analysis at the world’s largest multilateral lender. She is very focused on inequality and how a shift towards deglobalisation could actually make conditions worse in emerging markets that depend on trade for wealth and wellbeing. The profile is here.

The same issue carried a news story on the announcement by the UK government that it will print a second sovereign Islamic bond in the new years following the success of its £400m issue a few years. John Glen, the economic secretary to the Treasury, insists: “Islamic finance is here to stay. It is not a passing flash in the pan but a resilient and buoyant sector of its own.” The story is here.