Grants / Projects we are funding

Manchester Metropolitan University – Teaching economic policy institutions

Grant details


Awarded on:01/06/2020

Duration:12 months


Area of interest

Systems change

Themes covered

New economics

Economics education at UK universities is failing to properly account for a major influencing factor within the design of our system, economic policy institutions. Overlooking these bodies is creating a very skewed understanding of the functioning of our economy, which is then taught to future policy-makers and governors alike.

What is the issue?

A failure to appreciate the role of economic policy-making institutions in shaping economic life means some of the most important influences upon how the capitalist economy actually operates in countries such as the UK remain marginal to economic analysis. This is especially problematic given events of the previous decade in the UK. The Treasury and Bank of England, for instance, have developed some extraordinary policy initiatives in order to rescue (and partially reform) the financial system in the wake of the crisis, and ostensibly ‘rebalance’ the economy, but such processes have been marginal to teaching in economics and political science. The way in which the role, power and purpose of economic policy institutions is taught (or not) within the economics discipline – and, to some extent, political science – is at the root of this problem. With these institutions marginalised, economics students cannot fully appreciate how the economy actually functions, and political science students overlook important relationships between political and economic power.

What will the project try to achieve?

This project aims to fill a major gap in economic understanding, by developing new teaching resources on economic policy-making institutions. These resources will be developed on the basis of, firstly, an original appraisal of the state of knowledge in this regard within the disciplines of economics and political science, and, secondly, engagement with stakeholders including academic experts, policy practitioners and students. The resources should enable the learning experience across economics and political science to better reflect the role of economic policy making institutions in shaping economic life, and therefore contribute substantively to the reform agenda around economics teaching evident since the 2008 financial crisis. The project represents an exciting new partnership between Future Economies at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Rethinking Economics.

Who might be interested in this project?

Academics, education institutions, economic policy-makers