Economics for People: check out this free online lecture series from Ha-Joon Chang

December 16, 2019

     By Duncan Green     

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‘Ha-Joon Chang Thought’ is rapidly becoming A Thing. The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) has just released ‘Economics for People’, a set of 12 lectures by Ha-Joon, who teaches at Cambridge and manages to have rock star status with both my LSE students and Oxfam colleagues (although not Cambridge economists it seems – how is it possible that he is still not a professor?). And Chilean protesters too – see below. Each lecture lasts between 25 and 50 minutes, covering an amazing range of topics:

Book by Ha-Joon Chang

Episode 1a – The Nature of Economics

Episode 1b – Five Reasons Why Economics is Political

Episode 2 – What is Wrong with Globalisation?

Episode 3 – Conceptualizing the Individual

Episode 4 – Can Economics Help Us Save the Planet, Part 1?

Episode 5 – Why are Some Countries Rich and Others Poor?

Episode 6 – Will Robots Take Your Job?

Episode 7 – Inequality: what is it and why does it matter?

Episode 8 – Production: The nature of production and its evolution

Episode 9 – The Role of the State

Episode 10 – Finance and Financial Crises

Episode 11 – Can Economics Help Us Save the Planet, Part 2

Episode 12 – Industrial Policy

Each lecture is followed by a further video of the discussion between Ha-Joon and his students, bringing out his ability to think on his feet, and deal with almost any question. All in all, it’s about a term’s worth of lectures from one of the world’s most engaging and insightful economists. For free.

A lot of people will listen to them individually, but they would make a great basis for study groups too.

Chilean cartoon
The (very rude) Chilean cartoon version

At first glance, the only flaw in the content is almost nothing on gender – little on feminist economics, very few women economists cited, and even his students seem to be overwhelmingly male. Perhaps INET could commission a feminist economist to fill the gap?

It’s also a shame that they are not releasing the series as a podcast – really hope they do so soon. It would also be great to have more 2-5m clips that people can use in their own lectures.

I am planning to do a podcast with Ha-Joon in the next week or two – really hope he won’t expect me to have watched all of them before we talk…..

If any of have you have listened to some/all of them, I’d love to hear what you thought.

Here’s the trailer for the series

December 16, 2019
Duncan Green