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Economics in practice free course icon Level

Society, Politics & Law 

Economics in practice

This is an introduction to the way that the theories and tools of economics are used in the workplace and everyday life. Using interviews with working economists and real-world examples, such as tackling flood risk, planning for climate change and using sugar taxes to improve public health, it'll demonstrates how economics is used and embedded in the lives that we lead. Moreover, it'll give you a taste of what it might be like to work in one of the many careers where aspects of economics would be utilised on a daily basis.

OU course
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The History of Money video icon

Society, Politics & Law 

The History of Money

Where did money come from? How did people trade before inventing money? Was it a masterstroke or madness (or both) to let banks create money? Today money is generally accepted as payment for goods and services or repayment of debt. But governments still fret about whether there's too much (or too little) in circulation, economists can't agree on what it is, and the enduring popularity of alternative or crypto-currencies shows rumbling discontent with the official version. These 10 short animations chart the evolution of money from stones and whale teeth to modern monetary policy and banking, and takes a hard look at money's role in economic crises.

25 mins
Creative commons image Icon John Kell under CC-BY licence under Creative-Commons license
OpenLearn Live: 29th September 2015 article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OpenLearn Live: 29th September 2015

The economist who's also a pop star - then more free learning across the day.

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60-Second Adventures in Economics video icon

Society, Politics & Law 

60-Second Adventures in Economics

Ever shaken an invisible hand? Been flattened by a falling market? Or wondered what took the bend out of Phillips' curve? David Mitchell helps reveal some of the great dilemmas faced by governments trying to run an economy - whether to save or spend, control inflation, regulate trade, fix exchange rates, or just leave everyone to get on with it and not intervene. You'll learn why Adam Smith put such a high price on free markets, how Keynes found a bold new way to reduce unemployment, and what economists went on to discover about the impact of policy on people's and businesses' behaviour - which may not always be entirely rational...

15 mins