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Politics and Economics

Sir Vince Cable introduce the concepts of normative and positive economics and how economics has influenced some major political figures.

Sir Vince Cable is the leader of the Liberal Democrat party in the United Kingdom and the Member of Parliament for Twickenham. He was Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills for five years and is an Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham. In this course, he explores the link between politics and economics.

This course explores the link between politics and economics by analyzing the work of seven leading political figures – Alexander Hamilton, Sir Robert Peel, The Meiji Emperor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ludwig Erhard, Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping – which have used economic theory to design economic policy. Throughout this course, you will be introduced to the method of economics applying economics tools to policy-relevant questions.

In this introductory film, Vince makes the distinction between normative and positive economics by using the example of Brexit. For those who are not familiar, Brexit was a referendum held in 2016 by the citizens of the United Kingdom over their membership in the European Union.

After watching the film, tell us in the comments section whether you think politicians more often use normative or positive statements when advocating for their policies. Do you find these arguments persuasive?

Please feel free to engage with other learners right from the start of the course. Anyone enrolled on the course can comment and discuss. To see all the comments on a particular step, click the pink speech bubble icon. The number next to this icon tells you how many comments there are for this step. You can ‘Like’ comments that you find useful or interesting, and ‘Follow’ the lead educators and other learners.

Finally, we’d like to take this opportunity in the course’s first step to introduce ourselves. Your educators are:

Sir Vince Cable

Professor Cecilia Testa

Benjamin Beranek

Canh Dang

Gabriel Wasswa

We’re very excited to be teaching this course and look forward to hearing all your thoughts and ideas!

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The Politics of Economics and the Economics of Politicians

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