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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

Top 5 Kicks in the teeth to inequality

This is a guest post by Eva Schlunke, who is a political artist, activist and writer. I’m tired of listening to the same old institutionalised, paternalistic rhetoric about sustainable development and global inequality. I’ve heard it all before. But what IS encouraging and refreshing are the citizen-led initiatives, which put pressure on businesses, governments and institutions to change unethical practices or provide opportunities for ordinary people to help reduce economic exploitation for themselves… So today I’m counting down my top 5 favourite initiatives which have emerged or grown in popularity over the last 10-20 years, where people have not waited for top-down solutions and have instead taken matters into their own hands.   No. 5 – Fair Trade Products The concept of fair trade isn’t recent and has been in practice since the 1940’s. For several decades fair trade was mostly limited to hand-made goods purchased directly from poor communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America where they were sold to a niche market of ethical consumers in ‘Fair Trade Shops’. The success of this business and the economic benefits it brought to producers led to the development of global fair trade networks in the late 1980’s. As awareness of fair trade grew so did the demand for fair trade products. Fair Trade soon became recognised as a mark of decency adding ‘feel good’ value to imported goods which customers were willing to pay for. Over the last 20 years the range of fair trade products has diversified as more companies invest in fair trade, not just because it’s ethical, but because it makes business sense to. Consumers are...

Events: Ha-Joon Chang on Underdevelopment

Last week PCES, in conjunction with the Global Development Institute, hosted the famous economist Ha-Joon Chang to ask ‘Are some countries destined for under-development?’ His answer was an emphatic ‘no’. Chang summarised policy in developing countries since WW2, arguing that from 1945-1970 they pursued active industrial policies and had more successful growth rates than when they pursued the ‘Washington Consensus’ free-market style policies in the subsequent decades. He argued that since then, the institutions responsible such as the IMF and World Bank have effectively tried to blame the growth failure on the countries themselves, highlighting ‘meta-structural’ factors which are presumed to be largely invariant to policy (and therefore not their fault). Chang’s lecture took each of these purported factors and illustrated with basic logic and counter-examples why they were implausible, a format which is best summarised as a bullet point list: Climate, particularly tropical climate, has been argued to retard development due to the prevalence of disease, difficulty of working etc. But there is no reason that excessively cold climates, as exist in many developed European countries, are any less harsh – snow makes travel and the use of capital equipment difficult for half of the year in Scandinavia! There are also plenty of tropical countries which either have developed or are developing, such as Brazil. Culture. Though people are careful to avoid overt racism, it has been argued that some countries are destined for backwardness due to lazy populations with values not amenable to growth. As Chang pointed out, this has been said historically about many now developed countries – including Japan and Germany, now synonymous with hard-working...

PCES Myth-Busting: One-and-a-Half Cheers for Maths

This is the third edition of our ‘PCES Myth Busting’ series, which will talk  about our view on the use of mathematics in economics (and for this reason may be a bit more technical than the others). The previous myth-busting post, which is about our relationship with the Manchester economics department, is here. You do not have to look hard to find arguments to the effect that criticising mainstream economics makes one anti-mathematics. According to a 2014 Financial Times article by John Kay: “much of the ‘heterodox economics’ the Manchester students suggest including is flaky, the creation of people…who cannot do the mathematics the dominant rational choice paradigm requires.” Blogger Tony Yates similarly quipped that “students wanting to draw the analogy between the financial crash and organic processes had better stop chatting about Austrian economics and start crunching exotic nonlinear ordinary differential equations.” In his review of our book The Econocracy, Michael Ben-Gad implied that we were unable to “master the language of mathematics and engage with the difficult task of understanding economies as complicated dynamic systems”.  There a few claims – implicit or explicit – in these quotes, which need unpacking: Disliking the use of maths in economics is a signal that you don’t understand maths. Disliking the use of maths in economics shows you don’t understand its connection to economic issues. Disliking the type of maths used in economics means that you dislike all types of maths. (1) is petty and shallow, but since it seems to come up so much it’s worth addressing briefly. If it were true that PCES, and more broadly Rethinking Economics, were all bad at maths, then those who champion...