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About Us

We, The Post-Crash Economics Society, are a group of economics students at The University of Manchester. It is our belief that the content of the economics syllabus and teaching methods could and should be seriously rethought.

The Report

We have published a Report outlining what is wrong with economics education at the University of Manchester and in the UK. It includes a foreword by the director for Financial Stability at the Bank of England, Andrew Haldane.

Contact Us

If you want to join our mailing list, if you have any questions about upcoming events and lectures, schools of thought, what we’re working on or, if you have any suggestions for speakers you would like to see at our events or anything else please get in touch and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.
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Inequality and Poverty Module Petition

We are petitioning the University of Manchester Economics Department to introduce a module on the Economics of Poverty and Inequality. We believe that the content of this module is of great importance and interest to the student body, and should be available to select at some stage in the economics undergraduate curriculum.

If you are studying Economics in your degree at the University of Manchester, you can help us by signing the petition.

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Dissertation Survey

We have launched, together with the University of Manchester Students’ Union, a survey that aims to find out what are the students’ opinions on the currently available Economics dissertation modules. We will forward the results of the survey to the Economics Department of the University of Manchester in an effort to increase the accessibility of these modules in the future.

If you study Economics at the University of Manchester, you can access the survey by clicking the link below.


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Latest from our Blog

PCES Myth Busting: Overthrowing the Department

This is the second edition of our ‘PCES Myth Busting’ series, which will talk  about our relationship with the Manchester economics department. The first edition, on neoliberalism, is here.  It is a common misconception that PCES, and the entire student movement, are hostile towards the economics department and seek to change absolutely everything that is taught and researched. Headlines about us have characterised us as wanting to ‘tear up [the] syllabus’; economists have said they feel we want to displace them as the mainstream; students have even told us that they feel joining the society might somehow put them in a precarious position with their exam marks! (Note to all freshers: exams are marked anonymously). Firstly, there is the obvious point (though it can’t be repeated enough) that advocating pluralism in teaching theories includes many that are currently taught, so there is no prima facie reason to expect that we would want to ‘overthrow’ the department. Asking for more is very different to rejecting what is on offer. As for students’ concerns about being penalised in exams or somehow disadvantaged by being involved with the PCES movement, surely students can only expect to gain a greater understanding of economics by engaging critically with it. However, it is potentially reasonable to suggest that if many in the department are somehow resistant to pluralism itself, we would have a hostile relationship to those individuals. Nevertheless, we have always maintained a friendly dialogue with the department. We have found lecturers such as Peter Backus, Ralf Becker and Diane Coyle share some of our concerns about teaching, even if we disagree with them on some things. Since the publication...

PCES Myth Busting: Post-Crash and Neoliberalism

This is the first post of our new ‘PCES Myth Busting’ series, which will tackle some popular misconceptions we have encountered about our camapign. This post will discuss our view of neoliberalism or ‘free market’ economics – broadly defined as the ideology in place in Anglo-American economies since the time of Thatcher and Reagan. While PCES has received some support from ‘right wing’ places such as the Institute for Economic Affairs, and former Tory chancellor George Osborne even expressed similar concerns to ours about economics education, we have found it difficult to shed the idea that we are part of a campaign against neoliberalism. Numerous sympathetic articles about PCES have positioned us as anti-free market; we are sometimes thought of as synonymous with the recent surge for Jeremy Corbyn; and people have even criticised us as contradicting our message when we host speakers perceived as too ‘right wing’ or establishment*. To put it plainly, PCES is not inherently for or against ‘neoliberalism’, however defined, and ultimately we find this an unhelpful dichotomy to be placed into. Our project concerns the narrow and abstract nature of economics education, an issue everybody should be concerned about no matter their political affiliation. We advocate pluralism, which would include everything ranging from Austrian economics  – commonly considered right wing – to Marxism, which is of course left wing. In between we have a range of approaches, from politically ambiguous ones such as mainstream economics, evolutionary economics and econophysics; to various strands of Keynesianism which are (loosely) social democratic; and also schools such as ecological and feminist economics which have an obvious focal point. Neither does the other pillar of our...

Cakeonomics Event: The Gig Economy Debate

PCES recently had our third ‘Cakeonomics’ event on the gig economy. Speaking were Jack Hunter (from the Institute for Public Policy Research) and Sam Dumitru (from the Adam Smith Institute), two people one would expect to have very different views about the merits and drawbacks of the gig economy. Dumitru – who used to be a student here at Manchester – argued that the gig economy has brought immense benefits to both consumers and workers. He cautioned against only considering the well-being of workers, which would ignore the lower prices, better matching of demand and supply and increased convenience brought by companies such as Uber and Airbnb. He further argued that although these companies have perhaps not been competing on a level playing field, this was largely due to over-regulation of existing industry, particularly hotels, and so deregulating them would make competition work more effectively. He did, however, acknowledge that there have been some issues with increased insecurity of workers in the gig economy, and reduced worker’s rights. In response, he cited surveys showing that most Uber drivers are happy with their flexible contracts; he also argued that for many of them, the gig economy was better than the alternative. Hunter’s overarching point was that governments have proven under-prepared to deal with the changes that have occurred in the labour market. Gig economy workers are not really ’employees’ in the traditional sense that, say, factory workers might have been and so the company is less invested in their development. Although there are benefits to this flexibility, the state needs to adapt to alleviate the corresponding lack of security while...