Financial Crises - ECON6030

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Alexander Klein checkmark-circle


The aim of the module is to introduce the students to the evolution of the financial crises from a historical perspective. Since financial crises are infrequent (though often occurring) events, a long-run perspective is necessary to understand their causes and consequences. This module will look at financial crises from the Tulip mania in 1636 to the financial crisis of 2008, and combine theoretical approaches to understanding financial crises with critical discussion of historical episodes.

The module will cover the following topics:
1. Financial crises in historical perspective: long-run facts
2. Theories of financial crises
3. The severity of financial crises in historical perspective
4. Financial crises in the 17th and 18th Centuries
5. Early 19th century financial crises
6. The 1890s
7. The banking panic of 1907 and the emergence of Fed
8. The Great Depression I – Florida housing bubble, FED and 1931 banking crises
9. The Great Depression II – US banking crisis
10. The Great Depression III – Germany, Eastern European crisis, sterling crisis
11. Financial crises in the 1990s
12. The Great Recessions – housing bubble, contagion, banking crisis


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22 hours
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


This module is optional for all Single and Joint Honours degree programmes in economics.

Method of assessment

Essay, (2000 words) (20%)
Examination (2 hours) (80%)

**Please note that the exam in May/June 2023 will be Online (24 hour window)**

Reassessment Instrument: 100% exam

Indicative reading

Reinhard, C. M., and K.S. Rogoff (2008), This time is different. Princeton University Press.
Kindleberger, C.P and R. Aliber (2011), Maniacs, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises.
Eichengreen, B. (2008), Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System, 2nd ed., Princeton University Press.
Eichengreen, B. (1992), Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and The Great Depression, 1919-1939, Oxford University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

* understand the evolution of financial crises over the past 300 years
* identify causes of financial crises and the various sources of their origins
* critically analyse the connection among currency crises, banking crises, debt crises, and balance of payment crises
* demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of the importance of the lender of last resort and the role of regulation
* critically evaluate the costs of financial crises and efficacy of policy responses


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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