The Economy: Economics for a Changing World

ISBN : 9780198810247

The CORE Team
1000 Pages
203 x 254 mm
Pub date
Jul 2017
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  • A new approach that integrates recent developments in economics including contract theory, strategic interaction, behavioural economics and financial instability
  • Challenges students to address inequality, climate change, economic instability, wealth creation and innovation and other problems
  • Provides a unified treatment of micro- and macroeconomics
  • Motivates all models and concepts by evidence and real-world applications

The only introductory economics text to equip students to address today's pressing problems by mastering the conceptual and quantitative tools of contemporary economics. 

OUP has partnered with the international collaborative project of CORE researchers and teachers to bring students a book and learning system that complements and enhances CORE's open-access online e-book.

The Economy: 
- is a new approach that integrates recent developments in economics including contract theory, strategic interaction, behavioural economics and financial instability 
- Engages with issues students of economics care about, exploring inequality, climate change, economic instability, wealth creation and innovation, among other issues. 
- provides a unified treatment of micro- and macroeconomics 
- motivates all models and concepts by evidence and real-world applications 
- uses interactive student-paced model-building 
- has been adopted as the standard principles course at University College London, Sciences Po Paris and the Toulouse School of Economics 

A new economics for the principles course 

The Economy begins with social interactions using elementary game theory and institutions modelled as rules of the game. This provides the basis for a modern treatment of markets including price-making as well as price-taking, the exercise of power, and the importance of social norms and adjustment to disequilibria. 

Introducing labour and credit markets with incomplete contracts allows a consistent treatment of aggregate employment and fluctuations without the need for ad hoc sticky price and wage assumptions. Banks create money by extending credit and a central bank seeks to implement a target inflation rate. 

Growth and instability are illustrated from the Great Depression, through the post-war golden age of capitalism through to the financial crisis and ensuing uncertainties. Students acquire an understanding of the past and current evolution of the economy in its social and environmental context, equipping them to marshal evidence and articulate positions about contemporary policy issues. 

Pedagogical features 
· Economist in Action videos by Al Roth, James Heckman, Thomas Piketty, and others give students a glimpse of what economists do and how they engage in real policy questions
· How economists learn from facts boxes introduce students to research practice including how to identify causation using experiments and other methods
· When economists disagree features engage the student with evidence and controversies 
· The Read more suggestions direct the reader to resources they can consult to take their learning further
· Student-paced interactive diagrams suited to diverse learner capabilities are available within the CORE open access ebook available here: http://www.core-econ.org/
· Multiple-choice questions (with explanations of correct and incorrect answers) allow students to self-test their understanding 
· Great Economists panels showcase a range of influential thinkers who have shaped the path of economics
· Definitions explain important terms right where needed
· Einsteins provide an opportunity for readers to explore the quantitative aspects of the topics under discussion in more detail
· Online Leibniz calculus supplements provide a calculus-based course option, enhancing flexibility of use.

The Economy is further augmented by the online learning and assessment tool, Dashboard, making it the complete solution for teaching and learning the principles of economics. 


1: The Capitalist revolution
2: Technological change, population and growth
3: Scarcity, work and choice
4: Social interactions
5: Property and power: Mutual gains and conflict
6: The firm: Owners, managers and employees
7: The firm and its customers
8: Supply and demand: Price-taking and competitive markets
9: The Labour market: Wages, profits, and unemployment
10: Banks, money and the credit market
11: Price-setting, rent-seeking, and market dynamics
12: Markets, efficiency and public policy
13: Economic fluctuations and unemployment
14: Unemployment and fiscal policy
15: Inflation, unemployment and monetary policy
16: Technological progress, employment and living standards in the long run
17: The Great Depression, golden age and global financial crisis
18: The nation and the world economy
19: Economic inequality
20: Economics of the environment
21: Innovation, information and the networked economy
22: Economics, politics, and public policy

About the author: 

The CORE Team
Samuel Bowles
 heads the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute. He has taught economics at Harvard, at the University of Massachusetts and University of Siena. His books include Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions and Evolution (2005) The New Economics of Inequality and Redistribution (2012). He has also served as an economic advisor to Nelson Mandela and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

Wendy Carlin directs the CORE project. She is Professor of Economics at University College London and a Research Fellow of the CEPR. She is on the Expert Advisory Panel, Office for Budget Responsibility in the UK. With David Soskice she has co-authored three books: Macroeconomics and the Wage Bargain (1990), Macroeconomics: Imperfections, Institutions and Policies (2006) and Macroeconomics: Institutions, Instability and the Financial System (2015). For more than a decade she was co-managing editor of Economics of Transition. In 2016 Wendy was awarded the CBE for services to economics and public finance.

Margaret Stevens is Professor of Economics and Head of Department of Economics at the University of Oxford, where she has taught undergraduates studying PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) since 1993. Her research interests are in labour economics and public economics, especially public policy issues relating to health, education and vocational training.


Yann Algan, Sciences Po, Paris
Tim Besley, LSE
Samuel Bowles, Santa Fe Institute
Antonio Cabrales, University College London
Juan Camilo Cardenas, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota
Wendy Carlin, University College London 
Diane Coyle, University of Manchester
Marion Dumas, Sante Fe Institute
Georg von Graevenitz, Queen Mary University of London
Cameron Hepburn, University of Oxford
Daniel Hojman, Kennedy School Harvard and University of Chile 
David Hope, LSE
Arjun Jayadev, UMass Boston and Azim Premji University, Bangalore
Suresh Naidu, Columbia University
Robin Naylor, University of Warwick
Kevin O'Rourke, University of Oxford
Begüm Özkaynak, Bogaziçi University
Malcolm Pemberton, University College London 
Nicholas Rau, University College London 
Paul Segal, Kings College London
Rajiv Sethi, Barnard College, Columbia University
Margaret Stevens, University of Oxford
Alex Teytelboym, University of Oxford

"The best innovation in economic education that I have seen in my career. A smorgasbord of ideas that refresh our old concepts, moving our standard discourse from dismal to light, from a dehumanized science to a spirited vision of the world." - Christian Gollier a founder and former long term Director of the Toulouse School of Economics

"The text takes a refreshing new approach to giving students their first encounter with economics, with lots of data and intuitive interesting examples, but without sacrificing the key ingredients of the distinctive way economists look at the world." - Stephen Wright, Professor of Economics at Birkbeck College

"Answers an important but, astonishingly, unfilled need, for an economics text that is respectful of the world as we find it. This means a focus on both the historical foundations of current institutions and trends, but also an awareness of current empirical evidence on economic phenomena. It asks a lot of students but it also rewards their effort with a sense of empowerment" - Peter Matthews, Chair of the Department of Economics at Middlebury College

"a brilliant way to introduce students to economics: it combines state of the art economic theory with a big-picture perspective on modern development" - Nikolaus Wolf, Professor of Economics at Humboldt University of Berlin

"Adopting CORE gives us a competitive edge, demonstrating our commitment to cutting edge and student-focused content and delivery" - Marco Gundermann, Programme Director Economics Suite of Programmes, Cardiff School of Management at the Cardiff Metropolitan University

"advances the teaching of Economics, providing a new path to the somewhat petrified pedagogical Micro-Macro structure we have become too accustomed to. I have had very positive responses from students regarding the CORE material I have used so far. I am adopting more of the CORE chapters this coming year and will run a fully CORE first year Micro module next year" - Peter Backus, University of Manchester

"While conceding nothing in terms of teaching first year students key techniques, CORE addresses historical context and key contemporary debates that have for too long been neglected in the standard first year economics curriculum" - Colin Jennings, Programme Director of the BA/BSc Political Economy Programme at King's College London

"Overhauling the way economics is taught ought to produce students more able to understand the modern world. Even better, it should improve economics itself" - The Economist

"CORE promises to be the biggest shake-up since Paul Samuelson's Economics became the standard bearer for introductory texts in 1948" - The Times

"The members of the CORE team deserve credit for responding to the critics of economics without pandering to them. They have produced a careful but engrossing curriculum that will hopefully draw more young people into economics, and encourage them to continue their studies. (At University College London, students who took the CORE course did better in subsequent economics classes than earlier cohorts who took a more traditional introductory course.)" - The New Yorker

"When 'political economy' became just 'economics', the shift came at the cost of its links to other social sciences. CORE authors explain the attempts to shift the paradigm in economics teaching and, in doing so, hope that students of the CORE course will become citizens better equipped to address the pressing problems of today." - The Wire

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