Dr Michael McMahon, Economics professor. Photo: Warwick Media Library

Economics Department needs to change teaching of outdated theories

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The University of Warwick’s Department of Economics may be changing some of its courses in a response to critics who say the teaching of outdated theories led to the 2008 financial crash.

Professor Robert Naylor is authoring part of the proposed new course – which is led by Wendy Carlin an economics professor at University College London (UCL) – for institutions such as Warwick, UCL and Sydney.

Speaking at a conference held by the Treasury, Carlin said a fundamental revamp of economics teaching was needed and that students needed “nicer, smarter, cooler examples of the real world”.

Dr Michael McMahon, of Warwick’s Department of Economics welcomed the possibility of an updated first-year course: “I think we are well placed to take on board any suitable new ideas that are proposed by the group led by Wendy, or others, as and when they are finalised.”

However Dr McMahon also stressed that the department is continually adapting the material and teaching in response to the economic climate: “We regularly update and adapt our courses to ensure that the material contained in them is appropriate, and the delivery is effective.”

Students within the department welcomed the changes.

Third-year Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) student Patrick Mackenzie said: “It is clear that the conventional macroeconomic models taught aren’t good enough to fit or conclusively analyse the events of the recession.

“It is great to hear that the economics department are trying to give a broader education to its students.”

Marc Newall, a PPE finalist added: “I think a new module that has real-world relevance would be a good addition, as sometimes the course content can seem a bit abstract.”

Warwick’s Department of Economics is ranked as the best in the UK, and is placed 19th in the world by the QS rankings.

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