Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Amanda Stype, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Peter Higgins, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ann R. Eisenberg, Ph.D.


This research examines at the wide-ranging effects of the Great Recession, which struck the Rust Belt states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin between 2007 and 2009. The study uses historical economic data and state-level policy responses from 2005 to 2015, including GDP and unemployment, and examines the various policies implemented to combat this substantial economic slump. These policies include investments in infrastructure, job creation programs, industrial support, and aid for vulnerable populations. Beyond immediate responses, the research takes into account the region's long-term recovery trajectory. By evaluating different policy choices and the resulting and outcomes, this study contributes to a better understanding of how Rust Belt states navigated one of the most difficult economic periods of the twenty-first century, providing insights for future policy decisions and strategies to improve economic resilience in similar regions experiencing economic distress.

Included in

Economics Commons