Imagine the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is putting together a database of global recessions, depressions, and financial crashes since the advent of the Industrial Revolution

Topic: Imagine the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is putting together a database of global recessions, depressions, and financial crashes since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and have hired you to write an entry. They would like all entries to have not only basic information on the event, but also any relevant historical background, an analysis of the cause(s) (and if there is no agreed-upon set of causes, a survey of the most prominent theories), a discussion of the most important consequences, and what could have been done, if anything, to avoid it. It should be written for an educated public, so there is no need to explain basic economic terms or measurements. A list of recessions, depressions, and crashes to choose from will be provided at the end, from which you will choose exactly one.

Details: Your paper should have broadly four components: (1) what happened, (2) why it happened, (3) the consequences, and (4) how, if at all, it could have been avoided. These components can be ordered however you want in the paper, but all three must be covered at some point.

The first component is meant to simply provide the basic facts and story of what happened. For a recession, this could include things like: a rough timeline, when it began and ended, its size as measured in loss of income and/or GDP, changes in the unemployment level, changes in the level of manufacturing output, etc. If you are writing about something like a regional debt or financial crisis, you could include some of the same information, as well as data on the number of countries affected, regional (as opposed to just national) changes in GDP, which countries were most and least affected, etc.

The second component should provide an analysis of the why this particular recession or crisis occurred. At the least, this should involve providing some relevant historical background. Beyond that, however, what constitutes a good causal analysis will depend heavily on the particular topic you are writing on. If in researching you find that scholars have not agreed on what the causes are, include a discussion of the most prominent theories, why there is disagreement, and which seems to have the most support.

The third component should detail the consequences of the event are you writing about. The consequences can include social, cultural, political, technological, or broadly economic consequences. The focus, though, should be on changes that are directly or indirectly economic in nature, such as changes in economic policy, technology, business culture, and governing parties/structures.

The last component should be concerned with the question of whether this particular event could have been avoided. If you think it could have been avoided, explain how, and what kind of policies or choices would have been required to do so. If you think it was not avoidable, explain your reasoning, and discuss whether there still then lessons to be learned.

As noted earlier, there is no requirement that you present these in the order listed here. Choose whatever order works best for you, so long as each is covered. They also do not need to be equal in length—how much space you give to each component will likely vary depending on the topic. Just use your best judgment as to how much space to give each.

Format: Your paper must be at least 1500 words, typed in 12-point, Times New Roman font, and single-spaced. You must also include a bibliography, and all sources must be cited within the paper when appropriate to do so. The bibliography does not count towards the 1500 required word count. You may also include tables, charts, or graphs. These are to be labeled appropriately (i.e. Table 1, Figure 1, etc.), and can either be inserted into the body of the text, or just appended at the end.

Sources/Citations: You should have at least four sources for your project. These must be reputable sources. You may quote from your sources, but I highly encourage you to do so only if you think it’s absolutely necessary. And be sure not to intentionally or accidentally plagiarize from the sources you are using. Read through this page closely. If you would like access to an academic journal article for your research, you can usually get it using Sci-Hub. And access to many useful books can be found through Lib-Gen.

Wikipedia is not a source, but can be a very useful place to find reputable sources on your topic.

List of Recessions, Depressions, and Crashes to Choose From:

Amsterdam banking crisis of 1763 (Netherlands)

Panic of 1792 (USA)

Panic of 1819 (USA)

Panic of 1837 (USA)

Panic of 1857 (USA)

Panic of 1873 (USA)

Panic of 1893 (USA)

Panic of 1907 (USA)

Hyperinflation 1921-23 (Germany)

Latin American Debt Crisis 1982-89

African Debt Crisis of 1980s

Peso Crisis of 1984 (Mexico)

Recession of 1980-82 (USA)

Crisis of 1982 (Chile)

Lost Decade 1991 – 2000 (Japan)

1997 Asian Financial Crisis

1998 Financial Crisis (Russia)

Early 1990s Recession (Global)

1991 Economic Crisis (India)

Depression of 1991-93 (Finland)

Financial Crisis 1990-94 (Sweden)

Financial Crisis of 1998-99 (Ecuador)

Banking Crisis of 2002 (Uruguay)

Crisis of 2014 – 2017 (Brazil)

Currency and Debt Crisis of 2018 (Turkey)

Crisis of 2010 – 2018 (Greece)

Great Depression of 1998-2002 (Argentina)

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