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Spring 2012 - 62005 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Trying to Understand the Financial Crisis

Instructor(s): Galbraith, James K.
Unique Number: 62005
Day & Time: W 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.124
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.


Section Description

This course is an effort to develop a historical and analytical understanding of the present economic and financial crisis.

The point of departure will be the history of financial crises in the United States and around the world. We will then discuss alternative theoretical approaches, focusing especially on the sectoral-balances and financial-instability variants of Keynesian monetary economics. The course will then focus on the crisis as it unfolded through the 1990s and 2000s, coming to a head in September, 2008, and the policy aftermath. Toward the end of the semester we will take up on the ongoing crisis in the eurozone.

There is a vast amount of investigative literature now available and the course will require a large amount of reading – several books or equivalent per week. Books will be available at Coop East; papers and excerpts will be on Blackboard. Readings should be completed by the class date under which they are listed, and students will be assigned to make brief presentations. The readings are a work-in-progress; I may add material as we go along. All should come prepared to discuss. 

The course will require two papers. The first paper should begin to develop a line of research and argument related to the crisis, and should be based mainly on the readings through that date. The second paper should be a full-fledged seminar paper, based in part on additional reading and research. It may incorporate and build on the first paper and the feedback thereon.

The course is a seminar. It may not be taken to satisfy the Advanced Policy Economics requirement without special permission that will not ordinarily be given.