ECON 4300    International Economics    Fall 2009    

Henry Thompson


This is a course on international trade including topics of specialization, patterns of production, tariffs and protectionism, and exchange rates.  The basic theory is covered in class and presented in the text.  The course emphasizes classroom discussion and a student paper that applies the tools of international economics. 


We will communicate by email: assignments, questions you might have, topics for paper, etc.


Text            International Economics, Thompson

Grades       Classroom           10%            Grades are on a 10-point scale  

Quizzes                40%

Paper                   25%

Final                    25%           


The classroom grade is based on answers to assigned Questions presented at the board.  A few students will be called on at a time to write answers to Questions that require calculations or graphs.  Classroom participation in discussions and answering occasional questions also counts.  Good effort gets credit.  Typically every student is called on about once per week.    


There will be 10 announced quizzes and the highest 6 will count.  There are typically no make-ups on quizzes since missing a few will not hurt your grade.  Quizzes require writing, graphs, and calculations, in short answer format.  The final exam questions follow the same format.  No calculators on the quizzes or final. 


The paper will be on a topic of your choice and include sections on background, theory, and a time series regression that tests a hypothesis.  Students are responsible for finding the relevant historical data with at least 30 years of data.  Examples of regression analysis will be covered in class.  Include 3 variables (dependent, independent, and control).  The conclusion should present a policy recommendation based on theory and empirical results.  Use your own words and a standard reference format.  Email drafts and XL files for comments anytime.  Email paper as a Word file, double spaced 12-point Times New Roman, maximum 5 pages with results in neat tables.  Also email XL file with data and regression analysis.  Papers are due 6 Dec.  No late papers.        


Course outline                                                                                


17 Aug                          Introduction

24Aug                           International markets                                         1

31 Aug       2 weeks    Constant cost production and trade                 2      

14 Sep                           Gains from trade                                                 3

21 Sep        2 weeks     Protectionism                                                     4

5 Oct                             Terms of trade                                                    5

12 Oct        2 weeks     Factor proportions trade                                   6

26 Oct        2 weeks     Industrial organization and trade                      7

9 Nov                            Migration & international investment            

16 Nov                          International economic integration                  9

30 Nov                          Balance of payments & foreign exchange        10, 11

7 Dec 1 day                   International financial markets                         12