Graduate level, 7.5 hp (ECTS)
From the early 1990’s until 2007/08 finance and economic growth flourished in many parts of the world. Leading scholars and institutions such as the World Bank, OECD etc. saw the financial system as a key variable for economic growth and development. But this positive attitude towards finance was rapidly brought to an end with the outbreak of the crisis in 2007/08. Many countries are still battling the recession and while debt is mounting, growth is sluggish and future prospects are dim. Paradoxically one of the economic sectors that have suffered the least is the financial sector, which, as part of the economic policies to fight the recessions, is being fed by cheap money through extraordinary monetary policies such as negative interest rates and/or quantitative easing. This has led to concern for the creation of future financial bubbles and following crises. Simultaneously there are those who defend these policies arguing that without them things would be worse.
The aim of this course is to make sense of the contradictive view on money and finance as sources of economic instability and crises while also being fundamental for economic growth and prosperity. History provides a rich source for understanding the basic functions of the financial and monetary system and how it relates to the real economy through growth and crises. By combining empirical (applied) historical research with theoretical works on money and finance the students will be able to analyse the key functions and controversies concerning finance and money historically as well as today. The content of the course is delimited of both teaching and literature.