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Programmes Economics, INET Oxford

The Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School

What are we doing?

We are dedicated to applying leading-edge thinking from the social and physical sciences to global economic challenges.Our aim is to stimulate innovation and debate in economics, support visionary interdisciplinary research, and radically redefine the education of the next generation of economists, and business and government leaders.

Why is it important?

Fresh thinking in economics is required to address a number of critical challenges the world faces, ranging from managing systemic financial crises, to reinvigorating economic growth, addressing rising inequality, encouraging economic development, and developing new models of long-term sustainability.

How are we different?

INET Oxford includes over 60 affiliated scholars from disciplines that range from economics, to mathematics, computer science, physics, biology, ecology, geography, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, public policy, business, and law. This gives us a unique ability to bring multiple perspectives to bear on problems such as how to make the global financial system more robust and resilient; re-invigorating economic growth and innovation; addressing rising economic inequality; how to create a model of environmentally sustainable economic growth; and how economics should be taught to the next generation of leaders.

INET Oxford researchers work closely with policy-makers and leaders in business and civil society to bring new economic ideas and thinking into debates and practice in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

INET Oxford involves a wide number of scholars based across the University of Oxford, including the Saïd Business School, Department of Mathematics, Department of Economics, and Department of International Development.

Why do we need INET Oxford? - George Soros explains why in this short video

Research

Economic Modelling (EMod): aims to develop new methods of economic analysis and forecasting that are robust after crises. Researchers in EMoD are investigating the changes needed to economic analyses, policy, empirical modelling and forecasting when there are sudden, or very rapid, unanticipated changes in economies. EMoD researchers are also analysing the causes of economic inequality, the role of inequality in financial crises, and have also played a key role in developing the World Top Incomes Database.

Complexity Economics: applies ideas and tools from the theory of complex adaptive systems to economic issues, including preventing and managing financial crises, understanding processes of economic growth and innovation, labour markets and employment, and the management of systemic risk.  

Employment, Equity and Growth (EEG): works on economic theories, policies and institutional changes required for fairer, more inclusive growth, with a focus on creating sustainable jobs and reducing unemployment in a period of intensifying globalization and technology change. 

Ethics and Economics: examines the important questions raised by the global financial crisis about the role that ethics plays in economic thinking and the responsibilities that a market capitalist system has in relation to wider social and political concerns. The programme is examining the duty of care in financial institutions, how the culture and value systems of financial institutions changed in the years leading up to the crisis, and what practically might be done to encourage stronger and more ethically based standards of behaviour in financial and economic activity.

Economics of Sustainability: is attempting to understand the economy and environment as a deeply interlinked complex system and to gain insights into how the human economic part of this integrated system might be transformed to become more sustainable. The programme is looking at new ways to take into account natural capital, measure wealth creation, stimulate green technology innovation, and assess climate and economic risk. It is also looking at new methods of modelling economy-ecosystem interactions to better understand the impact of climate policies on economic growth, employment, and political economy. The programme is also examining the institutional innovations needed to transition to a sustainable economy.

Economic Curriculum Development (CORE): was created in response to widespread discontent among students, employers and university teachers about the traditional economics curriculum. The Curriculum in Open-access Resources in Economics (CORE) programme is a new approach to economics teaching for undergraduates that is closing the gaps between:

  • What economists now know and what we teach undergraduates;
  • The questions we are being pressed to answer by the public (including the questions that brought students into our classrooms) and the often-unrelated content of our curriculum; and,
  • Conventional text-and-lecture methods and available low-cost, individualised and interactive learning technologies.

The project's first milestone is the creation of a new first-year undergraduate 'Introduction to Economics' course, which is being piloted in participating universities during 2014-2015.