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Economics in the Real World for Pre-University Students

Weekly taster lectures with Abhinay Muthoo, Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick

In these strange and unprecedented times of the Coronavirus pandemic and with all of our schools closed down, we offered free weekly taster lectures during May-June 2020 designed for students who would be applying (or had applied) to university and wished to enhance their school curriculum. The lectures were open to anyone across the globe.

Key details

Lectures ran for 45 minutes, before a 5 minute break along with an interactive Q&A. Questions were to be emailled and Professor Muthoo would answer as many as possible in 40 minutes.

Lecture topics

Thursday 14 MayCooperation in the time of Corona

In this session, we use Game Theory, which is a key topic in Economics, to discuss people’s incentives (or lack of) to cooperate in a context of a Pandemic. We will show how Game Theory can help provide insights into how such cooperation can be secured.


Thursday 21 May - Intertemporal Cooperation and Coordination

In this session we build on the previous session and in particular explore the extent to which future punishments might induce cooperation today. We will also take a look at problems of coordination. All this using Game Theory.


Thursday 4th June – Insights from Behavioural Economics for Covid-19

In this session we discuss how insights from Behavioural Economics and Nudge Theory can help design policies to deal with controlling Pandemics such as Covid-19. We will talk about a few of the main cognitive biases that us humans possess, and which in turn can inform policy.


Thursday 11th JuneBehavioural Economics for Pandemics

In this session we build on the previous one and in particular we look at other key cognitive biases, and tease out their implications for behaviour and, in turn, for policy-making of the nudge variety.

How do I sign up?

This course has now taken place. Please browse our Online Resources page for more independent learning materials.

If you have any queries please email: preunisummerschool at warwick dot ac dot uk

Introduction to the Taster Lectures Series

Economics is everywhere, and it can be applied to almost everything, and our taster lectures will show you some of the traditional and more diverse areas where economics is relevant. The lectures will cover a number of exciting and important topics that lie at the heart of economics. In particular, you will be introduced to a few of the key concepts and tools of game theory and behavioural economics. These lie at the very core of economics - subjects that determine individual choice and collective choice, and in turn impact on the fundamental problem of economics, which is all about problems involving the allocation of scarce resources.

We will discuss these topics in the context of Covid-19, and pandemics in general, and that way show how Economics can be applied to the current crisis.

The lectures will show you how to think like an economist, and provide a perspective about the way economics is taught at the University level.