BUS327 Financial Crisis: History and Theory
Check for course changes due to the coronavirus outbreak on Canvas and StudentWeb.
Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2020 .
Course responsible: Espen Ekberg
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel 2020. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: 2019H
This course explores financial crises from a historical and theoretical perspective. According to an estimate from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), between 1970 and 2011 alone the world experienced no less 147 systemic banking crises, 218 currency crises and 66 sovereign debt crises. Such financial crises often have devastating effects on the operation of the general economy: they cause decline in investment spending, reductions in business profits, and an increase the number of bankruptcies.
What are the main features and functions of the financial system and how has the international financial system developed historically? What are the fundamental characteristics of financial crises? How have financial crises been explained theoretically? What have been the main similarities and differences between various historical cases of financial crises?
These are some of the questions we ask, discuss, and try to answer in this course. Many different and often competing theories exist about the causes and effects of financial crisis and how to deal with them. This course provides an overview of these approaches. In addition, it introduces the students to a number of historical cases of financial crises. It also explores the historical development of the international financial system in which the financial crises have been embeded. By investigating past experiences of financial crises we can recognize similarities and differences in how the crises evolved and how they were handled. Such historical knowledge may in turn help shed light on how to deal with and assessing future risks of financial crises and how to deal with such crises.
Besides regular lectures and group work, the teaching of this class will be conducted through the systematic use of writing exercises. The students must hand in two short, written assignments during the semester. These make up a substantial part of the final exam, which will consist of an academic essay presenting and discussing major concepts, theories and historical cases of financial crises.
The course will thus provide the students both with knowledge about a fundamental part of the market economy (the financial sector) and how and why this sector historically has experienced repeated and severe crises, and improve their skills in writing analytical texts. This skill does not only represent a valuable preparation for writing the master thesis, but is also fundamental to any job attainable for a graduated business school student.
- Knowledge about fundamental concepts (such as money and debt), about financial institutions (such as banks, central banks and regulatory authorities) and about the larger international financial system in which the financial sector is situated and how this system has evolved historically.
- In-debt knowledge about various theories of financial crises.
- In-debt knowledge about historical cases and historical explanations of financial crisis.
- Basic knowledge about how to plan, structure and write an analytical text.
- Critically and systematically present and discuss concepts and institutions central to the understanding of the financial system and financial crises and to present their analysis in writing.
- Distinguish between and critically examine different theories and historical explanations of financial crises, and to present their analysis in writing.
- Examine historical cases of financial crisis by applying relevant concepts, theories and historical explanations and to present their analysis in writing.
- Reflect on how theories of social phenomena - such as financial crises - are constructed, contested and developed, including how differences in methodological approach may affect our understanding of social processes.
- Reflect on the distinction between theories and historical explanations of social phenomena.
- Reflect on the value of historical knowledge for the understanding of present day problems.
The course consists of lectures, discussion groups, presentations, class discussions, writing exercises, written assignments and student peer review. The students should bring their laptops (or other writing instrument) to every lecture
Besides regular lectures and group work, the teaching of this class will be conducted through the systematic use of writing exercises.
Individual feed-back from lecturer on written assignments. Peer-review of written assignments
Mishkin, F (2016), The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets, Edinburgh: Pearson, ch 1-3, 7, and 9-16. In addition, a list of articles and book chapters will be provided at the start of the semester.
Two written assignments (the third- and ninth-week-of-class assignments). The assignments must be solved individually. The assignments are mandatory, but will not be graded. The two mandatory assignments during the semester make up a substantial part of the final exam, which will consist of an academic essay presenting and discussing major concepts, theories and historical cases of financial crises.
Term paper/essay (70 %) grade A - F and written exam with short questions, 90 minutes (30 %) grade A-F.
Both assessment components need to be passed in order to pass the course. There will not be any retake exam in the course. Those that wish to take the course again must do so next time the course is arranged, including all the elements in the assessment.
The course is open to all master programmes at NMBU and 3rd year bachelor students enrolled in the bachelor program in Business Administration and bachelor program in Economics.
The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business (email@example.com) for admission to the course.
External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
Examination details: Langsgående vurdering: A - E / F