A long-term institutional, structural and comparative perspective is applied throughout the course. Starting with medieval financial and monetary arrangements we study changes of financial systems until today with a specific focus on a) successful financial systems, and b) financial and economic crises.
But the objective of the course is deeper than that, it is designed to give a theoretical foundation for analysing and understanding three main issues in relation to financial systems both in the past and in the present by focusing on three questions: 1) Why are financial systems important – what makes them contribute to economic growth – what are the necessary conditions for a successful development of the financial system. 2) Why do financial crises occur, what causes them and what consequences do they have? 3) How can we increase the stability of financial systems so that future crises can be averted without this impeding the positive effects of financial development?