The Global Financial Crisis-Policy Implications in Asia
2018/2019, Semester 2
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
This course takes a multi-disciplinary, practitioner-driven approach to analyse Singapore’s public policies. It does this by integrating and applying three conceptual lenses, namely standard economics, the cognitive sciences, and organisation behaviour. We will first examine policies in Singapore through the lens of market failures and how economists have traditionally viewed the role of governments. We then examine the cognitive limits of economic agents and consider how behavioural economics offers the possibility of better policy design by taking into account people’s cognitive biases and limitations. In the third segment, we analyse the Singapore government through the lens of organisation behaviour. Throughout the course, we apply these lenses to various policy successes and failures in Singapore.
Venue = IWP Meeting Room, Tower Block, Level 2
PP 5141: The Global Financial Crisis & Its Policy Implications in Asia
Academic Year 2018/19, Semester 2 Wednesday, 2pm – 5pm, Room TBC
Instructor: James Crabtree
Associate Professor of Practice, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Senior Fellow, Centre on Asia and Globalisation
Teaching assistant: TBC
Office hours: eSmail for an appointment
The global financial crisis of 2008 was not just an economic calamity.
also precipitated a crisis in ideas — and one that still shapes the most important economic
political choices that today face Asia and the world, from the rising populism and the challenge of inequality to the USSChina trade war.
The preScrash faith that free markets can produce optimum outcomes is discredited. But a decade after the most important event of the modern era, global policymakers are still struggling to understand what went wrong in the runSup to the crisis, and the wideSranging series of dislocations and shocks that have hit both the developed and emerging worlds ever since.
This course takes a practitionerSoriented perspective to the study of economic and political ideas ten years after the start of the crash. It examines the lasting effects of what Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the
, has called a series of crises that “destroyed confidence in the competence and probity of financial, economic and policymaking elites” around the world, and especially those in the advanced western economies, accelerating the economic rise of Asia, and China in particular.
The global financial crisis remains the defining event of our time. Any future policy maker, especially in Asia, needs to have an overview of the events that led up to it, and to understand the critical policy debates that have flowed from it, from the best way to regulate finance to debates about the future of economic growth in the era of the 4
Industrial Revolution. Most importantly, policy makers need to be able to think through what went wrong — both in economics, and in policy — in order to stop a similar crisis happening again. That is what this course will provide.
This course is divided into two parts. In the first, we examine the runSin to the crisis, and the crisis itself. In the second, we look at the implications of the crisis.
The first half examines
the causes and consequences of the crisis
. We look at the events that led up to the crisis, from the rise of Asia and the “great moderation” to the collapse of the US housing market.
examine how these events undermined faith in many previously bedrock economic assumptions, from the efficiency of financial markets to the effectiveness of financial regulation. We also look at the aftershocks of the crisis, notably in the ensuing eurozone crisis, and examine what went wrong throughout, looking specifically at the failure of markets and state action.
The second half of the course then looks at the
policy implications of the crisis
, with a focus on Asia. We examine the tools which have been developed to stop a further financial crisis. We ask when and where another financial crisis might occur. We examine various specific policy and economic challenges after the crisis, from the rise of global inequality to the problems of industrial policy and the rise of populism and nationalism.
We also return to the subject of economics itself, looking at new kinds of economic ideas to see the extent to which economics itself, which remains the most important academic discipline in policy making
been reformed after the crash.
Having completed this course, students will:
ppreciate the diversity of economic theories that contemporary policymaking, and show greater sensitivity to context when applying economic ideas to their futurecareers in public policy;
Understand in broad terms some of the history of economics ideas, how they have evolved, and how they might be applied intelligently to publicpolicy.
Develop a strong grounding in the most important economic policy debates of the current era, from the future of trade and globalisation to the reform of globalfinance.
Develop a more interSdisciplinary understanding of how governments in Asia and beyond should deal with complex economic phenomena.
This course deals in economic ideas, but it does need a deep background in economics. There will be no technical or mathematical economics exercises, and prior economic qualifications are not required.
Some readings, and especially the “big ideas” student presentations [see below] are written by academic or professional economists. However, most readings are drawn from general publications, such as the
In short, the course is suitable for any student at LKYSPP who has a basic understanding of economic ideas of the sort provided during the degree itself, and a willingness to learn unfamiliar concepts.
Class meetings will typically be split into two. The first will involve discussion of readings, student presentations, case studies or guest speakers. The second will involve more formal lectures.
Guest sessions will generally involve fireSside chats, although some will involve guest lectures. Students are expected to come to class ready to ask questions to guest speakers.
Student communication is an important part of this course. Students are expected to speak up in class. This will form an important portion of the class grade.
Students are expected to do
and should expect occasionally to be “cold called”, meaning the instructor will ask students to comment, rather than relying on those who put up their hands.
Laptop use is discouraged in class, although special requests for noteStaking only can be made by eSmail
to the instructor. Smartphones are not to be used in class.
Students are expected to arrive on time for class, or preferably slightly early. Late arrival will count against your class participation grade.
Any absence from class sessions must be explained in advance by eSmail, including for reasons of illness. In the case of illness, a doctor’s note should be provided.
About the Instructor
James Crabtree is an associate professor of practice at the LKY School, where
is also a senior fellow at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation. He first joined the school in 2016 on sabbatical from his previous position
, where he was most recently Mumbai Bureau Chief, leading coverage of Indian business. He is also currently a fellow of the Asia programme at Chatham House in London, and a columnist for
Nikkei Asia Review
. James's book,
The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India's New Gilded Age
, was in midS2018.
James has previously worked in a range on positions spanning journalism and public policy. Before joining the FT as its comment editor in 2010, he was deputy editor at
, Britain’s leading monthly magazine of politics and idea. He has also written for a range of other global publications, including the
. Before returning to journalism, James was a senior policy advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He has worked for various think tanks in London
Washington DC, and spent a number of years living in the United States, initially as a Fulbright Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Start of Semester: 14 January 2018
Recess Week: 23 February –32 March 2018
Reading Week: 23S27 April 2018
Exam Week: 20 April – 26 May 2018
Introduction: Ten Years After Crash
The Global Financial Crisis: From Global Beginnings to American
The Global Financial Crisis: Asian Aftershocks
Guest: Duvvuri Subbarao, Former Governor, RBI
What Went Wrong? A Crisis of Economic Ideas
What Went Wrong? Market Failures vs State Failures
A Transatlantic Disaster: From the Eurozone Crisis to Brexit
Essay on the global financial crisis due Friday 1
After the Crisis: The State of The World Economy
Guest: David Skilling, Landfall Economics
Globalisation After the Crisis: From Peak Trade to Trade War
After the Crisis: The rise of Inequality, Populism, and Nationalism.
After the Crisis: Reforming Global Finance
OpPed on a contemporary economic issue due Friday 29
After the Crisis: The Fourth Industrial Revolution & The Promise of New Technology
China: Crisis Victor or Crisis in Waiting?
: JulianSEvans Pritchard, Senior China Economist, Capital Economics
What Have We Learned: Lessons for policymakers, lessons for economics
Final Paper due Friday 19
Essay on the causes of the crisis
Due end of Week 6
OpSed on an issue relating to the course
Due end of Week 11
Class participation and “big idea” presentation
Date of presentation depends on readings assigned to students
Final Paper on the course
Due end of Week 15
Essay on the Global Financial Crisis (25%)
: Students will write an essay of no more than 1,200 words examining the causes of the global financial crisis.
word opSed on a contemporary challenge facing the global economy linked to topics discussed in the course. This would be suitable for publication in a global publication such as the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal. A miniStutorial on how to write an opSed will be held in class.< >
: Each student is required to give at least one
minute presentation in class of a selected supplementary reading. This will cover a “big idea” from the course. Students can see each week’s presentation readings below.
All students are also expected to contribute to discussions in class, which will be reflected in their participation grade.
: Students will write a reflections paper of no more than 1,500 words highlighting a major takeaway from the course.
There are no compulsory books for this course.
Readings marked [
] mean that you can get the reading by clicking through to the link online. Readings marked
mean that a PDF copy of the reading is on IVLE.
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week