An introduction to economics and quantitative social science

The CORE Project is an open-access economics reform initiative, based at University College London. Its signature online course, The Economy, uses real-world data to teach topics such as inequality, unemployment and the environment that are rarely taught in traditional economics courses. This project will develop a new course to introduce social science students to economic methods. 

Modern economics can empower students and citizens to understand and articulate reasoned views on some of the most pressing policy problems facing our societies: financial instability, environmental degradation, wealth creation and innovation, and inequality. These are all topics of interest to students across the social sciences, but they are rarely encountered in introductory economics courses.

As a result, policy-oriented students often find themselves having to choose between a quantitative course of study – economics – that is only minimally social in content, or a socially-oriented course of study that provides little training in quantitative scientific methods. However, recent developments in the discipline make it possible for economics to be at once quantitative and a genuinely social science.

Developed in partnership 

As well as introducing social science students to the discipline of economics, the new course (Economy, Society and Public Policy) also aims to encourage the development of quantitative social science. The project team will create course materials and develop and test these with partners, including:

  • the UCL Institute of Education and Q-Step Centre
  • the University of Bristol Q-Step Centre and Department of Economics,
  • Birkbeck, University of London Department of Politics
  • Bangor University Business School
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University Management School.

As with all CORE materials, the course will be delivered online, and will be open-access for individuals and institutions anywhere who wish to use it.

Project Details

 

Researchers:

Professor Wendy Carlin and Professor Antonio Cabrales, Department of Economics, University College London

Professor Samuel Bowles, Santa Fe Institute

Funding programme:

Open Door

Grant amount and duration:

£339,633

1 February 2017 - 31 March 2020

Project website