Friday, 3 July 2015

New article in Discover Society: "How to think like a neoliberal"

I have a new short piece out in the latest issue of Discover Society called "How to think like a neoliberal". Here's the introduction, in which I discuss selling grades to my students! I'd suggest reading onwards to see why:
"Most years I teach a course on neoliberalism. I end the first class with a game in which I auction off the course grades to the students. First, I offer A-grades to the top 20% of bidders, B-grades to the next 20%, C-grades to the next 40%, and fails to the bottom 20%. Then I split the auction into two rounds to provide students with some chance to spread their bets. For each round I ask them to write down, secretly, their bids. Finally, I reveal the winners and losers. There is one proviso to all this, however, students can only use the cold, hard cash they have in their pockets to make their bids. Of course, I don’t actually sell students their grades, but rather use this mock auction as a way to show how markets can – and often do – work, even in unusual circumstances."
The rest can be read here.

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