Economics: Society, Markets, and [In]equality


Thinking critically about today’s economy can help you understand the world around you. Economics: Society, Markets, and [In]equality will pique your curiosity and inspire you to learn more about the power dynamics that determine how people and resources are valued, how goods move around the world, and how we manage our planet and the future. Your understanding of economics will make you a better advocate, voter, investor, consumer, and citizen. You’ll also develop an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of our current economic system and get a framework for thinking about how we, as individuals and as a society, can rethink our relationship with our planet and the way we interact with one another.

In this course, you’ll be learning from the following New School for Social Research faculty:
– William Milberg, Dean of the New School for Social Research and Professor of Economics
– Teresa Ghilarducci, Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Professor of Economics and Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis
– Paulo dos Santos, Associate Professor of Economics

What you will learn

Why a Worldly Philosophy?

Welcome to week 1 of Economics: Society, Markets and [In]equality. This week is about how economic analysis can help us understand the world around us and our history. This series of lessons starts off with an overview of modern capitalism and how it evolved and then explores profits and how they drive the economy. Finally, you’ll learn about how various economic philosophies that we may take for granted affect the way we see the world, especially how we view wealth and poverty. You’ll learn how these philosophies came to be, and you might even be challenged to rethink your own worldview. So, let’s get started!

Common Good, Private Purposes

Welcome to week 2 of Economics: Society, Markets and [In]equality. The lessons in this module take on the complex relationship between individual actions and social outcomes in capitalist economies. You’ll learn about the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the functioning of those economies: how competitive markets may give us good social outcomes, how decisions driven by the pursuit of individual profits can potentially destabilize the economy as a whole, and how capitalism can be understood to take advantage of certain social groups. So, let’s get started!

Power at Work

Welcome to week 3 of Economics: Society, Markets and [In]equality. This week covers the topic of Power at Work and refers to the concept of reservation wage throughout. As you progress through the lessons, you’ll learn about what restricts and empowers the bargaining power of workers. Finally, throughout the week you will also learn about key moments in history that have influenced the extent to which workers are able to obtain the security they need. The roles of government and unions will be discussed in this regard, as well as the influence of market structures. So, let’s get started!

The Promise and Disappointments of Globalization

Welcome to week 4 of Economics: Society, Markets and [In]equality. This week’s lessons ask the questions: What is economic globalization? When did it originate? What are its consequences for people and their well-being? Why a Worldly Philosophy? This series of lessons explores the nature and extent of globalization and how society grew from isolated markets to an interconnected economic system. You’ll learn about the forces driving globalization, why and how companies buy parts and labor from other countries in global value chains, and how globalization benefits society. In addition, you’ll learn about the drawbacks of globalization—the winners and the losers—and how we might rethink the world economy to make it work better for a broader swath of society and a larger number of countries. So let’s dive into the lessons and open your mind to the possibilities!

What’s included