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Post-Crash Economics Society campaigns for syllabus change

The Post Crash Economics Society (PCES) is campaigning to get behavioural economics back onto the syllabus for economics students.

Behavioural economics seeks to apply elements of psychology to help better understand economic decision-making. It has previously been available as a third-year module for economics students.

Ayse Mermer, the lecturer who previously taught the module, left in 2018, and it has not been available since her departure.

PCES wants it to be available in the next academic year but staff have responded by saying that there is currently nobody available to teach the module.

However, it’s understood that there are several other lecturers in the department qualified to teach behavioural economics who have a particular interest and expertise in the subject.

A PCES spokesperson told The Mancunion: “Studying behavioural economics allows us to better understand decision-making in the real world. It is, therefore, a very important requisite for a future economist, which all students should have the option to pursue.”

A University spokesman said: “The behavioural economics course is being rested at the moment, but the Economics department is hopeful that they will be able to offer it again in the very near future.

“Several of the department’s academics work in the area and are themselves keen to see it back on the syllabus as quickly as possible.”

The University of Manchester was also keen to note that many other economics courses taught at Manchester contain elements of what has come to be called behavioural economics, describing it as “central to much of modern economics.”

The Post Crash Economics Society was founded in 2008 by a group of students attempting to change the way economics was taught in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

The group is committed to ‘pluralism’ within the subject of economics and wants lecturers to include alternative economic thinking alongside the traditional free-market approaches when teaching.

The group recently launched a well-attended lecture series, with one lecture on Marxism and another on the role of the central bank. Next semester, PCES hope to have events on additional economic perspectives as well as behavioural economics.

Tags: economics, economics department, Manchester, pces, post crash, post crash economics society, University of Manchester

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