PA 974, Section 001: Policy Responses to the Great Recession

This site provides resources for students in PA 974 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for Fall 2009 Semester

Source: Russell and Carter, "How the Giants of Finance Shrank, Then Grew, Under the Financial Crisis," NYT, 13 Sep 2009.

Syllabus | Important Dates | Downloadable Course Materials and Information Sources | Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs | Department of Economics

LECTURE: Tu Th 1-2:15 235 Materials Sciences

Professor Menzie Chinn
Office Hours: Th 2:30-4:30 (tentative)
Office: 7418 Social Sciences Bldg.
Phone: (608) 262-7397
email: mchinn at

Course Syllabus

PA974 Syllabus in PDF file.

This course will examine the hypotheses underlying the origins and propagation of the Great Recession of 2007, and the policy responses that have occurred along a variety of dimensions. The candidate causes include lax monetary policy, the “saving glut”, deregulation, securitization and the widespread use of derivatives, the activities of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (“Fannie Mae” and “Freddie Mac”), among others. The discussion of responses will include the conduct of monetary policy and fiscal policy, the appropriateness of financial regulatory policy, the harmonization of international financial policy and trade policy. Other policies not typically thought to be related to the workings of the macro economy (housing, energy, sectoral/industrial policy, e.g., automobiles) will also be examined.

Prerequisites: Macroeconomics (either Econ 302 or Public Affairs 854), or consent of instructor. Economics 330 will be useful.

Important Dates

Course Materials and Sources of Economic Information

Downloadable Course Materials

Required Readings

News Reports and Additional Optional Readings

Tracking the Crisis and Recession

News Sources


Economics and Economic Policy Links

International Organizations

U.S. Government Agencies

Current and Historical Data


PA 974 Policy Responses to the Great Recession / UW Madison / / 9 December 2009