Economics students question free-market syllabus

By | October 25, 2013

Students at Manchester University rebel against single diet of orthodox free-market teaching

An assumption behind the Erasmus Mundus social economy project is that a one-dimensional view of economic wealth & well-being and human motivation for work has dominated the economic ecosystem, causing impoverishment and collapse of economies. We take the standpoint articulate by Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and pioneer of micro credits. ‘Mainstream free-market theory suffers from “conceptualisation failure”, a failure to capture the essence of what it is to be human’ (Yunus  2007, p.18). We aim to understand people- and community-centred economics models from around the world.

It is highly encouraging that students of economics at Manchester are challenging the mathematically-based economic models which proved to be so unstable and caused the financial and economic crisis in Europe.

“Economics undergraduates at the University of Manchester, one of the top UK universities, have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society, which they hope will be copied by universities across the country. The organisers criticise university courses for doing little to explain why economists failed to warn about the global financial crisis and for having too heavy a focus on training students for City jobs.

A growing number of top economists, such as Ha-Joon Chang, who teaches economics at Cambridge University, are backing the students.”

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Yunus, M. (2007) Creating a World Without Poverty. New York. Public Affairs.