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Critics say A-level economics book 'legitimises racism'

A-LEVEL TEXTBOOK ROW: Critics say a statement in the guide legitimises racism

THE PUBLISHERS of an official A-level economics textbook have come under fire for a statement that some readers felt sought to “legitimise racism”.

In the book, which was written by Steve Stoddard and David Horner and published in 2016, the authors list a number of examples of benefits of wage discrimination.

Outlining some potential economic advantages of wage discrimination, the book states it “may be beneficial to some firms if their consumers are racially prejudiced”.

The statement was highlighted by a student studying economics, the course which includes the book, My Revision Notes: AQA A-level Economics on the syllabus.

Ryan Bogle shared a photograph of a section of the book and expressed his outrage at the statement on Twitter.

“Read the second bullet point. I am done with this subject, AQA legitimising racism because a firm’s customers might be racist too. Disgusting,” Bogle tweeted.

Responding to the criticism, AQA, told HuffPost that while the textbook is used in conjunction with its course, it has no input when it comes to the contents.

“This isn’t from any AQA-approved textbook, so we didn’t have had any role in its production. We do always pass on concerns like this to the relevant publisher though,” a spokesperson for AQA told HuffPost.

In a statement on its website, Hodder Education, which publishes My Revision Notes: AQA A-level Economics, said: “We, and our authors, are in no way supporting the point expressed in bullet 2 that has been highlighted in a recent Tweet. The content is included as an example of an economic possibility that students will critique and debate.

“These are economic points, not moral ones, as to why a company might seek to engage in wage discrimination. Discrimination happens in the real world, leading to groups of workers having their marginal revenue product (linked to their perceived productivity) either over or undervalued.

“The A-level course requires that students consider the impact of gender, ethnicity and other forms of discrimination on wages, levels and types of employment. Real-world examples should be used and students should be able to assess the advantages and disadvantages of wage discrimination for workers, employers and the economy as a whole.”

Hodder Education added that it would include additional examples along with the controversial bullet point in reprints of the book.

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