Conventional Flip: Real-world economics makes progress in business research


Until recently, the first-year business and economics syllabus that Carlos Cortinhas had to teach could be a “drag” according to his own admission. Undergraduate students will learn the basic theories and models of economics through textbooks and lectures that introduce indifference curves and market equilibrium in detail to reach the next stage of their degree.

Now, the courses taught by the associate professor of economics at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom are more about debate and discussion than rote memorization. Students talk about climate change even before they understand supply and demand.

This novel method uses nuclear (Open access to resources for economics courses)-a new teaching method that puts economics in the real world.

It started ten years ago and is now used in 310 universities in 68 countries/regions. It subverts traditional economics teaching, starting from focusing on the thorny global problems of young people, and exploring how various theories and models can help solve these problem.

©Team Pestridge

“This has completely changed the way we teach,” Cortinhas said. “Students become more engaged and interactive. This is a real joy.”

Core is diverse, practical and easy to use, and is a model of a new type of teaching-especially for the business sector.

With the development of business and management education, economics teaching in business schools is also developing. This creates new opportunities for research collaboration, practical work, and teaching for new audiences-all of which sow the seeds of new thinking on traditional conservative and theoretical themes.

“The way economics is taught in business schools is different,” said Michael Kitson, a senior lecturer in international macroeconomics at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. “It is more open to diversified ways of thinking; it is just a part of many disciplines.”

Keesen fondly reviewed the years when Marxist, Keynesian, and neoclassical economists worked side by side, but believed that the traditional economics department had lost some of its diversity.

Now he feels more at ease in business school, and scholars from different disciplines are committed to solving practical challenges. “The diversification of the economics department is gone forever,” he said. “The place where diversity exists now is the business school.”

A kind British Academy Papers The business research report released last month found that business and management are almost the most important interdisciplinary-covering subjects from finance and economics to sociology and geography, as well as a large and diverse student population.

In 2019-20, one-sixth of undergraduates and one-fifth of graduate students in the UK enrolled in business and management courses, 39% of them are international students, and about 20% are from black, Asian or ethnic backgrounds.

Lisa Magnani

Lisa Magnani, a professor of economics at Macquarie University in Australia, said that the broad appeal of business research forces economics teachers to think more creatively.

“One aspect of economics is the lack of diversity-the ability to scare women away, or to attract students from certain types of socioeconomic backgrounds,” she said. “Whether it is at the undergraduate level or the MBA level, we have subverted economics teaching… This idea is applied and participated in economics.”

The course leader said that a wider audience and real-world problems mean that economics teaching must understand a wider range of models and methods. Today, generation Z undergraduates and MBA students are more likely to be progressive and socially conscious, if not always on the economic left.

“If we go back 15 years ago, MBA students are mainly looking for skills and education that will allow them to progress in their careers,” Kitson points out. “That has changed. They increasingly want to understand the larger picture from the perspective of global challenges-inequality, climate change, racism. These are more prominent than trying to maximize [their] income. “

Business units may increasingly need progressive views, but they are not always easy.

In the UK, the University of Leicester Facing international boycott Excessive layoffs mean that researchers who specialize in critical and left-wing methods of business and economics become targets for layoffs.

The university said it pays more attention to big data, analysis and artificial intelligence. It aims to “focus on research on contemporary issues where users and funders have clear needs” and equip graduates with “relevant skills to drive positive impact worldwide.”

However, political economist David Harvey, who is facing one of the layoffs, said that the reduction of critical thinkers has destroyed the possibility of a truly diverse and challenging business curriculum at the University of Leicester.

“I think it will disappear,” he said. “I think some of them are based on the idea that people who go to Leicester cannot study the humanities. But look at the people who are rediscovering Keynes and Marx now-people do need history.”

Other educators believe that the new forms of teaching economics are far from enough.in Rethinking economics, A movement to reshape disciplines led by students and academia, operations co-director Tree Watson said that although Core’s real-world aspect opens up new perspectives, it lacks a true theory of diversity. “In the final analysis, it is still neoclassical economics,” she said.

Wendy Carlin © Milan David

But Wendy Carlin, professor of economics at University College London and director of the Core project, believes that the new economics teaching method is accepted not only in business schools but also in any place where the subject is taught. Impressive results have also been achieved. A study in 2020 found that the scores of students who participated in Core were on average 17% higher than those who did not follow the syllabus. Not only did economics students feel the improvement, but also finance and management students.

Carlin describes the Core method as not starting from the assumption of perfect information and models like traditional economics teaching, but starting from the way the real world works and all its imperfections.

She hopes that this will not only make it easier for students to access economics, but also help create new theories and frameworks for future challenges.

“These different capital concepts and all the measures [gross domestic product] Out of the Great Depression-we are now facing different problems,” she said. “People are eager to re-examine how we view the economy. . . We have shown that this is possible, but there is still a lot of work to be done-and universities must remain relevant. “



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