An objective of this course is for students to develop theoretical macroeconomic tools that will help them critically analyze complex economic phenomena. To achieve this objective, I have designed a structured writing assignment where the student is required to analyze a real world economic event through the lens of the theoretical macroeconomic models studied in this course and provide a short report for a non-technical audience.
The Great Recession commonly refers to the economic contraction that occurred in the United States and began in December of 2007 (NBER recession date). Other countries also experienced an economic contraction, but the magnitude and timing varies from country to country. In general, unemployment rates around the world increased, output growth rates were negative, and governments tried to improve the economic environment. Numerous countries, including the U.S., are still coping with the effects.
Your assignment is to choose a country (any country), and from the perspective of that country:
1.) Describe the events leading up to the Great Recession, during the Great Recession, and after the Great Recession. For example, explain what happened to key economic indicators such as real GDP growth, unemployment, inflation, wages, and interest rates. 2.) Describe how this country was directly or indirectly impacted by the crisis. 3.) Describe what you think contributed to the crisis. 4.) What did the central bank and/or fiscal authority do to combat the crisis? Do you think either party should have intervened? Do you think either party should have done more to combat the crisis? Explain your answers.
A well written report will incorporate theory developed in class into the report and will concisely and accurately describe the crisis from the perspective of that country. The report needs to be written for a non-technical audience where the audience is interested in a concise, evidence-based assessment of a countrys economic environment from the perspective of an expert (you).
Each report should be between four and six pages (excluding references, tables, and figures) using 12-pointTimes New Roman font. Paragraphs should be double spaced with one inch margins on all sides. Figures andtables that are used as supporting evidence should be attached to the four to six written pages in a neatly constructed appendix. Tables need to be typed and figures need to be digitally produced (i.e., using Microsoft Excel, Matlab, Stata, EViews, etc.). A reference section must also be attached to the four to six written pages if you use sources other than class notes. Wikipedia is not considered an acceptable source. The document may include neatly divided sections addressing each of the four necessary elements detailed above, or may be a single, flowing narrative.
Data (not comprehensive)
1, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA): http://www.bea.gov/
2, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): http://www.bls.gov/
3, U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/
4, World Bank, World Development Indicators: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator?tab=all
5, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/
6, International Monetary Fund (IMF): http://www.imf.org/en/Data
7, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): https://data.oecd.org/
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