One goal of graduate level work in international economics is to provide students
with a framework in which to analyze concepts and issues that may have previously
been assumed to be obvious or extremely complicated. In pursuing this objective
you are likely to discover that many of the ideas and perceptions you have about
international economics are incomplete or wrong.
During the course we will focus attention on hot button issues in the subject of
international trade. Among the items we will look at are outsourcing, is China
outcompeting us, the large U.S. external debt and the implications of the move
toward regional or preferential trade agreements.
We will start by examining the size of the global economy and various models of
trade beginning with Riccardian model. Among the topics that will be covered are
the effect of trade on relative wages and income distribution and the potential role of
immigration. From the beginning, students will read articles that raise questions
about the relevance of historical theories and issues that are very germane to the
modern world. Following this, the course will consider government interference in the
market system through various trade policies such as tariffs, quotas and the
manipulation of exchange rates. Throughout the course emphasis will be placed on
real world analyses and developments. Frequently, both sides of controversial issues
will be explored.
The format of the course will emphasize interactive discourse among students
and between the students and the instructor. Students are expected to have
read the material assigned for each class and to be prepared for a spirited
Students will be expected to be aware of current international economic
developments and to be prepared to discuss them at each class. Each class will
start with a short student presentation of a current interest topic and class discussion
of the issue.
As preparation for this part of the course students should read regularly The
Economist and a good daily newspaper such as the Financial Times or The Wall
Chandross, Robert, "Economic Aspects of International Relations" (2015). Diplomacy Syllabi. 159.