Financial Crises ECON4078

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 15
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course instructs students about stylised facts on the origins and causes of financial crises; their link to public finances; explores the role and capability of the government to manage effectively the private and public financial sectors in crisis and normal times. The role of regulation of financial sectors will be studied.


10 x 2 hour lectures

1 x 1 hour revision lecture.


Please refer to MyCampus for timetable.

Requirements of Entry

Entry to an Honours programme in Economics or a minimum grade C3 (average) in Economics 2A and 2B for students taking an Honours programme in another subject.

Excluded Courses





ILO (covered)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The main aims of this course are to cover the following broad areas:

■ Stylised facts on the origins and causes of financial crises and their link to the public finances.

■ Develop benchmark theoretical and empirical models building on historical record.

■ Policy responses - how governments, in their roles as guardians of public finance, cope with the fallout of financial crises - both in the short run and over the long run, via regulation of the private and public financial sectors.

■ Micro prudential regulation, macro prudential regulation, corporate governance.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will:

 1. display knowledge of the historical record of financial crises and their impact on the wider economy and public sector balance sheets.


2. display knowledge of the theoretical models that can explain issues relating to financial crises, the role of public finance and empirical studies which complement these issues.


3. be able to carry out critical analysis using the theoretical and empirical analyses found in the literature.


4. be able to identify problems with the effectiveness of existing public and regulatory policies.


5. carry out independent research to critically evaluate, using academic literature, data and historical examples, the ability of governments to face and prevent financial crises using the public finances and other policies.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.