The following assignment is due on the last day of class. Late work will not be accepted.Do this project on your own. You may talk to other students about your ideas, but if youplan to talk to someone in depth, do not work on the same event. Please type your answers.The report should be between 5 and 10 pages long, not including the bibliography
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International Macro Final Project
The following assignment is due on the last day of class. Late work will not be accepted.
Do this project on your own. You may talk to other students about your ideas, but if you
plan to talk to someone in depth, do not work on the same event. Please type your answers.
The report should be between 5 and 10 pages long, not including the bibliography.
Overview: Pick a financial crisis from history, that we have not talked about in class.
Describe the causes, the chain of events, the policy responses, and the lessons learned from
the crisis. Write the report as if you were writing a memo to a policymaker wishing to learn
something from the crisis.
Picking a crisis
Recall that the Jordà-Schularick-Taylor Macrohistory Database (macrohistory.net/data)
is a good source to find a list of crises. Another good resource is Valencia and Laeven (2008)
As you choose the crisis you want to write about, do not pick a random crisis off of the
database. Find one that you think is interesting or consequential. Remember, you have to
spend several hours of your life doing research on it.
The crises that you are not allowed to do because we have or will cover them in class are:
(1) the Eurozone crisis, (2) Black Wednesday, (3) the Financial Crisis in the U.S. of 2007,
(4) Newfoundland’s sovereign debt, (5) Argentina’s sudden stop of 2001.
Topics to cover
Make sure you cover the following topics:
What happened in the crisis? What were the main events? What were the main
consequences? Support this with data and/or a timeline of events. If appropriate,
show a graph of the relevant data.
What were the causes of the crisis? What policies or economic conditions were relevant
before the crisis occurred that might have led to the crisis?
How did the government respond to the crisis? Did they take any major steps during
the crisis? Did they enact any reforms after the crisis to make sure it did not happen
What lessons can we learn from this? Does the crisis validate the conventional wisdom
(i.e. things we have learned in class) or are there aspects of the crisis that are outside
of our models?
If you like, each of these bullets can be its own section in your report.
How to Research
In your research, use other analysts’ and economists’ work to inform what you say are the
causes and consequences of the crisis. Find at least 3-4 sources from policymakers or outside
observers. If possible, see if you can find analysis and justification of policy actions being
done at the time, possibly by the policymakers themselves.
Do not rely only on other’s opinions, though. If someone says a policy was a mistake,
and you agree with them, make sure you provide arguments for why that is the case. Do
not simply say “Expert so-and-so thought they should have done this other policy instead.”
Also, do not plagarize anyone else’s work. Make sure that the writing is your own, and
that you are citing the sources that you use. Include a bibliography at the end of your report
(any standard format is fine).
How you will be graded
Your grade will be based on the following things:
Did you present a comprehensive history of the crisis? If someone who had never heard
of the crisis before read your report, would they have a good sense of what occurred?
Graphs of data can be particularly useful, but are not required, especially if there is
not good data for the crisis you pick.
Did you give a good analysis of the policy response? Did you say why they did what
they did, and/or why they should have done something they did not do?
Did you give reasonable lessons that can be learned from the crisis, and did you give
arguments for why they are true?
Did you appropriately use and cite sources?
On each of these, I will give you a grade out of 25, and your score will be the sum.
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