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The CORE Team

Publication Date - 18 November 2019

ISBN: 9780198849841

632 pages
10.4 x 7.7 inches

In Stock

A new way to learn economics


In order to be well-governed, a democracy needs voters who are fluent in the language of economics and who can do some quantitative analysis of social and economic policy. We also need a well-trained cadre of researchers and journalists who have more advanced skills in these fields.

Many students in other disciplines are drawn to economics so that they can engage with policy debates on environmental sustainability, inequality, the future of work, financial instability, and innovation. But, when they begin the study of economics, they find that courses appear to have little to do with these pressing policy matters, and are designed primarily for students who want to study the subject as their major, or even for those destined to go on to post-graduate study in the field.

The result: policy-oriented students often find they have to choose between a quantitative and analytical course of study - economics - that is only minimally policy oriented in content and that downplays the insights of other disciplines, or a policy and problem-oriented course of study that gives them little training in modelling or quantitative scientific methods.

Economy, Society, and Public Policy changes this.

It has been created specifically for students from social science, public policy, business studies, engineering, biology, and other disciplines who are not economics majors. If you are one of these students, we want to engage, challenge, and empower you with an understanding of economics. We hope you will acquire the tools to articulate reasoned views on pressing policy problems. You may even decide to take more courses in economics as a result.

The book is also being used successfully in courses for economics, business, and public policy majors, as well as in economics modules for masters' courses in Public Policy and in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE).

This textbook--the print complement to CORE's open-access online eBook--is the result of a worldwide collaboration among researchers, educators, and students who are committed to bringing the socially relevant insights of economics to a broader audience.


  • Students begin their study of economics by understanding that the economy is situated within society and the biosphere.
  • Economists are interested in establishing causation â does a policy work â so, students learn how to identify causation (not just correlation) through the use of natural experiments, lab experiments, and other quantitative methods.
  • Social interactions (modelled using simple game theory) and incomplete information (modelled using a series of principal-agent problems) are introduced from the beginning. As a result, phenomena studied by the other social sciences such as social norms and the exercise of power play a role
  • The insights of diverse schools of thought - from Marx and the classical economists to Hayek and Schumpeter - play an integral part in the book
  • The way economists think about public policy is central to ESPP. This is introduced in Units 2 and 3, rather than later in the course.
  • Students analyse the government as an actor large enough to solve as well as to cause problems.
  • Students work with real data and learn transferable, quantitative skills by analysing policy problems. The online Doing Economics provides a step-by-step guide for the quantitative analysis of a policy problem related to each ESPP unit.

About the Author(s)

The CORE Team

Table of Contents

    Unit 1. Capitalism and democracy: Affluence, inequality, and the environment
    Unit 2. Social interaction and economic outcomes
    Unit 3. Public policy for fairness and efficiency
    Unit 4. Work, wellbeing, and scarcity
    Unit 5. Institutions, power, and inequality
    Unit 6. The firm: Employes, managers, and owners
    Unit 7. Firms and markets for goods and services
    Unit 8. The labour market and the product market: Unemployment and inequality
    Unit 9. The credit market: Borrowers, lenders, and the rate of interest
    Unit 10. Banks, money, housing, and financial assets
    Unit 11. Market successes and failures
    Unit 12. Governments and markets in a democratic society

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