If you were going to teach this…..

Economics of the real world
This module centres on techniques of ‘investigative economics’ that are becoming central in economic commentary and analysis, and develops them in team projects. Students are encouraged to develop, through team-work, critical views and analyses of real-life economic data and phenomena, focusing on questions such as:

How is commonly cited economic data gathered or constructed (e.g., GNP/GDP, poverty indices, inflation and unemployment indices, transparency indices)?
How does legal context shape economic or business behaviour?
How does political regulation shape the behaviour of business and in turn, how do business elites shape policy environment?
The aims of the module are two-fold: (1) to help students develop and apply critical skills of an independent researcher and (2) to facilitate the development of their team-working skills and use of new method of working with data. Topics will Include: Concepts and Methods of Investigative Economics; The Politics of Economic data Construction; The Political Economy of Regulation; Law and Economics.

Who would you get to teach it?

And can anyone actually imagine the Murph interacting with students?

42 thoughts on “If you were going to teach this…..”

  1. “How is commonly cited economic data gathered or constructed (e.g., …, transparency indices)

    Send your professor a check for £500 and you too can have a positive transparency index via the Fair Tax Mark.

  2. “How is commonly cited economic data gathered”

    You pull one number out of thin air and extrapolate it by a factor pulled out of your arse. Het presto, the £120 bn tax gap (although you then need to guess how much of that might be collected)

  3. You can just envision him chattering away to an empty classroom as the vice-chancellor pops his head round the door.

    “Yet another bunch of neoliberal trolls were they, eh Murphy?”

  4. Tim, you’ll be relieved..:)

    John Bacon says:

    Really pleased very well deserved hope it does not mean that you will be blogging less

    Richard Murphy says:

    No way!

  5. That looks like primary school economics to me, ie Murph’s real level. It all looks less than basic. Construction of indices was covered at A-level in my era rather than at university. Also, the interaction of theory of the firm with companies legislation seems absurdly specialised at degree level. And I doubt any economist or lawyer would be able to teach it.

    Just more absurd nonsense from the fat shark – jumper.

  6. Isn’t it a core principle in university education to question, debate and encourage discourse?

    How is he going to foster debate should someone disagree ever so slightly with whatever flawed interpretations he will be teaching/misinforming future generations? How will he mark essays that don’t quote him back at him, and instead might prefer actual economic sources?

  7. There’s a pattern here:

    Murphy – ”Professor” City Univ.

    Peter Fleming – ”Professor” City Univ.

    Connie St Louis (of Sir/Prof Tim Hunt fame) – Senior Lecturer in Journalism – City Univ.

  8. There’s a reason why City University Business School MBAs don’t get any where near our recruitment process.

  9. “That looks like primary school economics to me, ie Murph’s real level. It all looks less than basic.”

    Apparently it is a core module in year 2 of the course.

    Beggers belief what the appointment process must have been like.

    Professor Murphy? I bet the strutting fatso just loves that.

  10. Now that I’ve cleaned a mouthful of coffee off my computer screen…

    R. Murphy – ignorant of economics, capitalism, finance, accounting, taxation and statistics and too stupid to know it – teaching a generation of Trotskyites who don’t understand economics, capitalism, finance, accounting, taxation and statistics and are too stupid to learn any of it… Sounds to me like teacher and students deserve each other.

    This is obviously where future Guardian columnists will come from.

  11. I look forward to his students taking the same attitude to his lectures as he did at uni:

    “I realised it was all bollocks after one lecture so ignored everything he said”

  12. Andrew C

    “Professor Murphy?”

    I think he’s already styled himself as “Prof Murph”… ok, I dropped the y, but the “Prof” is all his..

    Just a thought – now we know, going back to the EU gig, why there was no correction of any kind when he was addressed as Professor, and when he later suggested on his blog that perhaps the gig Chairman knew something his readers didn’t..??

  13. I think it might be quite awe inspiring, for some devoted young left wing 21 year olds to actually be on a course run by the mercurial creator of Corbynomics, the original thinker behind the economic agenda that is about to take the west by storm come 2020?

    Sorry Dennis, have you got to go and clean your screen again?

  14. methods for constructing GDP data can get fairly tricky – at least enough to bamboozle undergrads – all the different ways of trying to computing real GDP, Laspayers and paasche indices ….

  15. I must say though, the more I think about this, the happier I get about it.

    Not only is Professor Murphy going to be inflicting himself upon the Trotsky Youth Brigade there, he’s also going to be inflicting himself upon the University’s Economics and International Politics departments, as well as the idiot administrators that hired him.

    He’s going to be the Hyacinth Bouquet of City University.

  16. To be fair modern university economic courses do need a dash of the non-mathematical social sciences and skills. Id rather it be about the history of economic thought but it’s not to be entirely sniffed at

  17. “How is commonly cited economic data gathered or constructed…?”

    It’s ‘how are’ — not ‘how is’. As any true pendant does know. And, with Murphy on board, the economics teaching will probably be as defective their grammar.

  18. Actually I think this might be rather good. We all know that bald GDP, poverty, unemployment etc indices are a crock.
    So a closer look at how these misleading indicators are derived would teach the undergrads a lot. Just not by him.

  19. Actually understanding how the System of National Accounts (how GDP is calculated) works is pretty complicated. This 700+ page book is the base:

    https://unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/docs/SNA2008.pdf

    And not all countries have converted to this. In addition, you need to be on top of index creation methodologies, seasonal adjustments –

    http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/download/cpi/corrections/chapter1.pdf
    https://www.census.gov/srd/www/x13as/

    It requires substantial effort to master all of this and more – many professional academic economists have not. the LHTD probably thinks he can use Diane Coyle’s book, which is a decent intro primer, but to master this is the work of years – which he clearly hasnt put in. I doubt that he has the mathematical aptitude to master the seasonal adjustment or the index creation methodologies.

  20. Luis

    It appears to be just one course – BSc in International Political Economy and the curriculum was founded by Robert Skidelsky for INET and…

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/jeremy-corbyn-uk-economy-by-robert-skidelsky-2015-08

    City will come to regret this quite swiftly – since the LHTD is less qualified to teach this than I am to teach quantum physics.

    http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/international-political-economy#course-detail=1

  21. I wonder if his interaction with students will be as engaging as that on his blog, should anyone dare to disagree with him

    “I am right. You are wrong. Earlier lectures explain why. ”

    Still, on the plus side, if he’s going to teach it perhaps he’ll learn it first?

  22. abacab,

    I’m sure that you’re right and that he will try that. But that isnt going to work very well with undergrads. And they will ask “how does this work?” These are the papers on the US census site about seasonal adjustment:

    https://www.census.gov/srd/www/sapaper/sapaperbytopic.html

    If he really wants to talk about how the real world works, he’s got be able to read and comprehend this stuff. He’d need an advanced degree in economics or stats and to have done a lot of work on top to even be close to being able to do this. And he “just don’t got it”. He’s barely at the level of being able to teach first year intro accounting.

  23. Daz

    Not a chance. He’d have to do about four years studying to even come close to being able to talk about this stuff.

  24. So it is really hard to do the index compilation stuff at degree level. What about the legal interaction stuff?

  25. Ken

    OK. So – he’s going to be lecturing on international political economy.

    Have we recently had a taster of what may be involved?

    Was it just a couple of days ago that an economist and a political economist were, hmmm, standing in front of a car……

  26. Diogenes

    Outside my direct area of competence. But, it requires substantial grounding in political theory and political economy.

    Median voter models, other voting models, power, framing, structure of government, the nature of lobbying, theories of policy formation, The politics of regulation, how regulation is constructed. The economic effects of the above.

    Another 4 years of studying – basically a second BA + 2 year masters and a lot of graft after that. Easier to fake, but equally difficult to master as the econ stuff above.

  27. ” But that isnt going to work very well with undergrads. And they will ask “how does this work?” ‘

    Candidly, you are a neoliberal troll. Get out of my classroom, now.

  28. From Wikipedia:

    Professors typically hold a Ph.D, another doctorate or a different terminal degree. Some professors hold a master’s degree as their highest degree, but this is less common. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a “person who professes” being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.[1]

  29. In terms of “professor” there’s a difference in usage in the US and the UK. In the UK “professor” is an appointment, whereas in the US it seems to also include pretty much any lecturer. One of our lecturers (who wasn’t a prof) explained that when we did an early teleconference lecture (early 00’s) together with a US university, since she’d been listed as “prof” for the benefit of the US students despite not being one.

  30. abacab

    Quite correct. In the old days in the UK to be called Professor, you had to hold an endowed chair – so the “Regius Chair in History” or the “Acme Co. Chair in Business”. Just below them in the hierarchy were Readers, then senior lecturers and lecturers.

    In the US (almost) everyone is a professor, but of different types: Professor, associate professor, assistant professor.

    The US terminology moved here back in the 90s and has spread. Many UK universities allow people to be called professor without the full chair if their publications are good enough. City is one of those places that seems to title everyone “professor” – although the Murph as an adjunct may not qualify (and his credentials are lacking).

  31. Flatcap Army

    Indeed it was. I am a CUBS alumnus. In fact I am one of those CUBS MBAs you say your organisation won’t touch with a barge pole. That’s useful to know.

    However, CUBS was, and remains under its new name, a reputable establishment – as Luis says.

    I am reliably informed by my City University spies that Professor Murphy will have no role at Cass Business School.

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