PUBPOL 495.006: Policy Seminar: Politics of Debt

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Fall 2018
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This course will explore the politics of debt. Robust credit markets can fuel economic growth, but the resulting debt can be dangerous, and politically controversial. In this course we will ask and answer questions relating to the creation and maintenance of well-functioning debt markets. These questions include: What makes a government creditworthy? Why do corporate and consumer debt markets flourish in some countries, but not others? Why do debt crises happen, and what are the political implications of them? What are the consequences of growing consumer debt loads (including payday loans, and student loans), and what ethical questions does that growth pose? The readings for this course will draw primarily from works in political science, economics and history. The course will culminate in an original research paper on the debt-related topic of the student’s choosing.