Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Public Policy and Law

First Advisor

Adrienne Fulco

Second Advisor

Carol Clark


Recessionary periods can seldom be avoided, but our modern public infrastructure has designed mechanisms to respond to these downturns. Economic policy has rapidly changed over the last 50 years, and the types of tools policymakers use have evolved with it. When looking at the Great Recession (2007-2009) and the COVID-19 recession (2020), a federal response structure was vital for the health of the macroeconomy. These recessionary periods serve as case studies for a review of economic policymaking activity in the United States since 2000. To examine the efficacy of the federal government’s fiscal and monetary infrastructure, policies focused on supporting student loan borrowers along with policies aimed at homeowners and renters have been identified and reviewed. Government policies supporting student loan borrowers after the Great Recession expired too soon following their implementation. This front-loaded support only worsened the economic position of borrowers during the 2010s. A more thorough policy response during the pandemic has provided relief to student loan borrowers for the duration of the crisis. The housing sector suffered considerably in both recessions. The policy response to the pandemic was considerably well-tailored to meet the needs of homeowners but was less successful in meeting the needs of renters. Still, most households had a more difficult time after the Great Recession because policies were not sufficiently implemented to disburse stimulus in the appropriate timeframe. Policymakers actively avoid missteps from the Great Recession response, enhancing the overall policy results of fiscal and monetary measures enacted during the pandemic.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Law.