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Understanding Financial Crisis: Business Cycles and Policy

Uppsala University via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.



Economic crises often have severe consequences - for everyone from governments and corporations to you and I. But crises can be seen as an essential part of an evolving economy, along with structural adjustments and institutional changes. In this course you will learn more about the role of financial crises, their history and how they can be interpreted.

Explore the history of financial crisis

Can we learn from the history of crises? With this course we’ll see financial crisis from a historical perspective - investigating different incidences of crisis in relation to context. By the end of the course you should be able to define and describe various economic and financial crises, and interpret such crises from a historical perspective.

Understand the relationship between financial crises and business cycles

Financial crises and business cycles are often closely interrelated. Various crises have evolved in different ways, depending on expectations, economic conditions, as well as institutional conditions, but we can also see some common patterns from historical examples. Could financial crisis be part of a natural business cycle?

Learn how to effectively analyse financial crises

Throughout the course you’ll develop your ability to identify and explain the various relationships between political action, economic theory, and economic cycle. This will lead to you being able to interpret various crises and their causes, their historical paths, and consequences in political and economic terms.

The central theme of this course is why and how business cycle slumps and financial market crashes have tended to occur and reoccur, and in what ways such downturns have been managed throughout history.

Ever since the world transitioned from agrarian to industrialised economies, most countries have depended on business cycles and the performance of financial markets for their growth and progress. When financial disturbances have emerged at various times, the whole economy could be affected. Such turbulences have been observed in the slowing of economic growth and, occasionally, even political unrest.

So, if business slumps and financial market turbulence have caused such big problems, why do they tend to re-emerge? Is there nothing to learn from history? During the course, we present five infamous downturns, which had a major impact when they occurred. As you will see during the course, although the downturns differed with regards to origin, impact, and persistence, they displayed certain common patterns and features. Such regularities, as well as the way the downturns have been managed, are highlighted in the course’s historical examples.

You don’t need any prior knowledge to take this course, but an interest in finance, history, or economic history might be useful.

Taught by

Sarah Linden Pasay, Jakob Molinder and Jan Ottosson


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