Economic Crises and Depressions

Economic Crises and Depressions

YearCourse not being offered in 2018-2019
Course code: MGT4063
Course credits: 15
Taught: Semester 2
Course co-ordinator
: Dr Valerio Cerretano
Entry requirements: Normally admission to an honours programme in Business & Management.  Alternatively, entry to a Single Honours programme in Economics or Business Economics without previous study of Business and Management.
Available to visiting students: Yes
Contact for more information: Business Undergraduate mailbox

Course description

This course will be a thematic investigation of the economic and social causes and consequences of the major economic crises of modern times. Broadly speaking, it will attempt a comparison between the post-2007 crisis with the depression of the 1930s and the stagnation of the 1970s. Some of the themes that will be investigated are the interaction between politics and the shaping of economic policy; the nature of business cycles; economic crises and the emerging of new economic paradigms; the working of monetary policy and the worsening of depression. The course provides a critical analysis of the underlying structures and processes of the global economy and their changing dynamics over time - thus providing important knowledge and awareness for management and business students who should be aware of the broader political economy in which firms and workers operate.


This course aims to:

  1. Review some of the major controversies about economic cycles and prolonged depressions as well as the economic and social evolution of the western world (including Japan).
  2. Promote the use of comparative analysis with regard to the economic and social evolution of the largest current economies as well as the global economy.
  3. Assess the role of the international monetary system in the working of the international economy.
  4. Advance understanding of how Western governments responded to the challenges posed by the depression of the 1930s, of the 1970s and of the post-2008 period.
  5. Offer an opportunity to develop broader analytical skills through the use and interpretation of specific statistical data sets.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Critically assess some of the major debates about the nature and reasons behind prolonged economic crises.
  2. Critically assess how economic crises can influence international business and domestic business environments
  3. Broadly evaluate how economic policy can influence economic performance.
  4. Demonstrate a general understanding of how social and political diverging interests may shape economic policy.
  5. Critically assess how economic crises may contribute to new economic ideas and paradigms.
  6. Critically evaluate primary material and statistical data sets.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures: 2hrs x 10 weeks

Please refer to MyCampus for timetable.

Key References for this course are:

Peter Fearon, The origins and nature of the great slump (London, 1979)

Charles Kindleberger, The world in depression (London, 1973)

Fine, B. and Saad-Filho, A. (2004) Marx’s Capital, Pluto Press: London.

Harvey, D. (2010) The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism. Profile, New York.

Harvey, D.  (2014) Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. Profile, New York.

MacKinnon, D. and Cumbers, A. (2011) An Introduction to Economic Geography: Globalisation, Uneven Development and Space. Prentice Hall, London.


An assignment (30%)
A 2-hour degree exam (April/May) (70%)