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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Latest from our Blog

12 Questions Every Economics Student Should Ask About Their Education

PCES have put together 12 questions that we think every economics student should be able to at least have a go at answering (and ‘no’ doesn’t count as an answer!). We think these get to the heart of the shortcomings of undergraduate economics education: a lack of real world understanding; a lack of pluralism or even awareness of different schools of thought; a lack of critical engagement with the material and a lack of interdisciplinary knowledge. If you are an economics student reading this, we’d love to hear your answers to these questions! 1. Do I have a good idea of how, in practice, banks, firms and government organisations such as the Bank of England work? 2. If tomorrow my boss sent me some data on oil markets and asked me to produce a report on global demand and supply for oil, would I have at least a half-decent idea of where to start? 3. Am I confident in communicating my economic knowledge to different groups such as the public, academics and policymakers, both in written form and verbally? 4. Am I able to offer a solid, perhaps theoretical interpretation of major historical events such as the Great Depression or 2008 crash? 5. Actually, do I even know the historical details of these events? 6. Have I been shown a real world situation to which a theory I have learned can be applied? Which evidence was presented to support this? 7. Has my curriculum made any mention of theories such as endogenous money, cost plus pricing or the financial instability hypothesis, all heterodox theories which have a good degree of empirical...

Guest Post: Economics Has Lost its Way

This is a guest post by Simon Ogus, founder and CEO of DSGAsia, a firm which provides independent Asian economic and political analysis. He has a PhD in economics  from SOAS and has been researching the economies and markets of the Asian region since the mid-1980s. Albert Einstein, a proper physicist if ever there was one, and certainly no social scientist with a bad case of physics envy, once remarked that: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” One might have thought that after decade upon decade of one-in-ten-thousand-year events occurring, ahem, rather more regularly than every ten millennia, the economics profession might be willing to display just a little more humility in questioning its increasingly quantitative foundations. But, then again, as Upton Sinclair wrote in “The Jungle”: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” The idea that the Queen raised that nobody saw the crash coming is, frankly, self-serving humbug from an academic, bureaucratic and conflicted private sector analytical cabal for whom such a claim is extremely convenient from a backside-covering perspective. Plenty of analysts did point out the madness of what was happening (or more accurately was being allowed to happen) but the more independently-minded were largely shouted down and accused of being cranks that just did not understand the beauty of the newest manifestations of finance. Après la deluge, the revisionist claim has been that, “apparently,” it was not that the models were wrong, but just that they just needed to be perfected; analogous to arguing that...

On Pluralism: A Response to John Kay

John Kay recently wrote an article about the campaign for pluralism, criticising those who want to include heterodox economics in the curriculum on the grounds that “no one would cross a bridge built by a heterodox engineer”. However, he is wrong to make comparison between economics and harder sciences like engineering or medicine. These disciplines, though undoubtedly influenced by politics, ethics and culture, study phenomena which can be subjected to controlled and repeated experiments, the results of which can be generalised to uncover regularities and even laws. Economics, on the other hand, is a social science, and social interactions can have different results depending on the context and motivations of the entities involved. For example, research shows that attitudes toward taxation and the state change the effect an increase in tax has on economic activity. Social reality also changes: the monetary system of the 1890s is very different to the monetary system we have today. This means that although they might like to believe otherwise, economists have not and cannot uncover the ‘true’ model of the economy. Kay’s article would benefit from some substantive discussion of what he calls heterodox economics. He references Jean Tirole’s dismissal of other schools of thought to support his argument, but as a response to professor Tirole’s statements by the French Association for Political Economy pointed out, major advances in academia – even in the hard sciences – are often made at the margins of disciplines, where people are more willing to challenge central assumptions of the mainstream. Since the mainstream is unwilling to recognise these advances, they can remain undiscovered for a long time. The...