EC5051 - Economics and Ethics (2017/18)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2017/18|
|Module title||Economics and Ethics|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2017/18||
This module traces the development of the modern-economics conception of economic agency out of earlier discourses. It also compares and contrasts this with a competence-based understanding of the foundations of economic behaviour. Finally, it considers the relation between how economists have come to understand the nature of economic agency and the development of institutions and organisations in both private and public sectors and assesses whether such institutions are ‘fit-for-purpose’.
Prior learning requirements
EC4006 Principles of Economics, or equivalent
The module aims to provide students with:
- a systematic knowledge and understanding of the development of the modern-economics conception of economic agency out of earlier discourses;
- a systematic knowledge and understanding of a competence-based understanding of the foundations of economic behaviour and understanding of the relation between how economists have come to understand the nature of economic agency and the development of institutions and organisations in both private and public sectors;
- a range of transferable and subject-specific skills that will be of value in employment and self-employment.
The module also aims to develop students' skills, in particular: academic study skills; subject research;
applied analysis; critical thinking; literacy and problem solving.
Ways of being moral: how the relation between economic agency and morality has been understood.
The idea of homo economicus: the origins and development of economic inquiry as a discourse.
The modern commonwealth: towards a competence-based understanding of economic behaviour.
Economic behaviour and the moral sentiments.
How modern economics and cognate disciplines have come to represent the moral basis of economic activity.
Hobbes world: the consequences of the misrepresentation of the moral basis of economic activity in terms of contemporary economic organisation and management.
Understanding the credit crunch; the issue of governance in relation to private and public sector reform.
Learning and teaching
Students’ learning is organised around direct contact time with the teaching team, and reflective independent learning, both individually and in teams. The direct contact time takes place through lectures, seminars and group workshops. Students are expected to complement this 'formal' learning activity with further reading of the material suggested in the teaching sessions, and solving realistic business and economic problems on the basis of their emerging understanding of the principles of economic behaviour
Student contact time will normally be 3 hours per week. Lectures will typically be around 1 hour duration and will deliver core subject knowledge. As this module emphasises the development of theory and its effect on the formation of economic agency a whole-group workshop of around 1 hour will provide examples of how the performativity of economics as a discourse works. In the 1 hour seminar the emphasis is on student learning through participation, formative feedback and active learning.
The contact time with teaching teams will be organised around a range of learning activities including active learning to acquire knowledge and understanding, problem solving, presentations, analysis of case studies, group reading and analysis of research papers, discussion of policy issues and debate. Many activities require students to carry out independent work prior to meetings with lecturers.
Increasingly through the module students are required to engage with research published in high level academic journals and research institutes. Initiative and independence is developed progressively through the module such that students are required to take greater responsibility of their work.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- demonstrate a broad knowledge and a systematic understanding of the origins and development of economics as a social science;
- demonstrate a broad knowledge and a systematic understanding of the principles of economic behaviour and compare and contrast these with the modern-economics conception;
- apply what they have learnt in terms of principles of behaviour to the question of adequate organisational structure;
- demonstrate communication, self-management, and time-management skills.
The in-class tests will require students to write answers to questions addressing the underlying principles or issues of the subject matter. Their knowledge and understanding will be further developed and tested as they work through and hand in an essay. Students will be encouraged to make presentations that will show their progress in this task, as well as opening up their work to the constructive criticism of their colleagues. This will develop their ability to work effectively in groups, and learn the benefit of collaboration with colleagues.
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Bruni, L., and Sugden, R., 2007. ‘The Road not Taken: How Psychology was Removed from Economics, and How it might be Brought Back.’ Economic Journal 117 pp. 146-173.
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de Waal, F., 2006. Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
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