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COURSE NAME: "International Economics"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020

INSTRUCTOR: Simona Costagli
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 4:40-6:00 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: Junior Standing, EC 201, EC 202
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

An introduction to international trade and finance. Analysis of the causes and consequences of international trade and investment. Major topics include international trade theory, international trade policy, exchange rates, open-economy macroeconomics, and international macroeconomic policy.

The course covers selected topics in international trade theory and trade policy, as well as international finance and macroeconomic policy. Major topics also include: exchange rates, open-economy macroeconomics, and international macroeconomic policy.

The course also aims to link the economic theory to current issues and debated questions. A focus will be devoted to the ongoing debate on the “new protectionism”, the US-China trade relationships, and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy, with specific reference to the short- and long-term implications of the massive fiscal and monetary instruments that governments and central banks implemented to face the global recession.

Students are strongly encouraged to read “The Economist” (available at the University’s library), the “Wall Street Journal” and the “Financial Times” articles concerning IE matters, as well as to follow the daily news on the main economic events.

The instructor will hand out or direct students to additional readings on international policy issues. Materials on the course will be posted on Moodle web page.


-  To provide students with an analytical framework that can be used for understanding events in the field of international economics.

-  To help students manage various sources of information on the global economy.

By the end of the course, students should be able to: a) demonstrate an ability to analyse current issues in international economics (IE) on the basis of different models of international trade; b) demonstrate an ability to critically assess IE matters, and c) demonstrate an ability to appropriately select and deploy theoretical principles to address practical issues and problems. 


Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
International Economics: Theory and Policy, Paul R. Krugman, Maurice Obstfeld, and Mark MelitzPearson Addison-Wesley13 978 1 4080 4392 9 Any edition will work     

Attendance and participation in class discussion 10%
Exam 1 20%
Exam 2 15%
Project presentationThe project assigned has the objective to: • find and document information; • use information that is relevant to illustrating the question/issue of concern; • present information in tables, charts, graphs that are visually easy to understand and properly documented; • foster the ability to summarize in an oral presentation the key elements of an issue, indicating that the students have clearly understood the underlying details of the topic; • help an appropriate use of empirical information. Provide a 7 to 10 power point slides visual presentation, lecture outline, and bibliography. The issue will be decided by lot from a list provided in the second week. Presentations will consist in a debate between two groups of students (max. 3 students each group). The groups will face each-other sustaining opposite views on the same issue (ex: is the Chinese currency overvalued? Yes vs no; Has the Fed tapered the quantitative easing too fast? Should Us firms continue to outsource their productions? …). Each group is supposed 1) to present its view using ppt (or other supports like prezy); 2) to question and discuss the other group’s view; 3) to answer to the professor/public question on the issue. Use at least 5 sources, of which at least 2 must be for empirical data – Wikipedia is not considered a valid source. Please refer to the JCU Frohring Library Reference Librarian or Modern Language Association Style Guide on how to properly cite sources. Grading will be based on: • Clarity of the presentation • Structure of the argument and organization of the information • Documentation of sources as well as graphs, charts, etc. • Appropriate choice of visual information that illustrates the issue clearly and professionally • Depth and insight of the research • Ability to use theoretical and empirical instruments to criticize/support an issue 15%
Final exam  40%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cours
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


week 1
sep 21 CHAPTERS 1,2 What is IE about?; World Trade: An Overview
sep 23 CHAPTER 3 Labor Productivity and Comparative Advantage: The Ricardian Model
week 2
sep 28 CHAPTER 5 Resources and trade: The Heckscher-Ohlin Model
sep 30 CHAPTER 7 External Economies of Scale and the International Location of Production
oct 2 CHAPTER 8 Firms in the Global Economy: Export Decisions, Outsourcing, and Multinationals Enterprises
week 3
oct 5 CHAPTER 8 Firms in the Global Economy: Export Decisions, Outsourcing, and Multinationals Enterprises
oct 7 CHAPTER 9 The Instruments of Trade Policy
week 4
oct 12 CHAPTER 10 The Political Economy of Trade Policy
oct 14 Review CH (1-10)
week 5
oct 19 First exam 20% (1-10)
oct 21 CHAPTER 11 Trade Policy in Developing Countries
week 6
oct 26 CHAPTER 12 Controversies in Trade Policy
oct 28 CHAPTER 13 National Income Accounting and the Balance of Payments
week 7
nov-02 CHAPTER 14 Exchange Rates and the Foreign Exchange Market: An Asset Approach
nov-04 CHAPTER 15 Money, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates
nov-06 CHAPTER 16 Price Levels and the Exchange Rate in the Long Run
week 8
nov-09 CHAPTER 17 Output and the Exchange Rate in the Short Run
nov-11 CHAPTER 17 Output and the Exchange Rate in the Short Run
week 9
nov-16 Review (11-15) 15%
nov-18 Second Mid term (11-15)
week 10
nov-23 CHAPTER 18 Fixed Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange Intervention
nov-25 CHAPTER 18 Fixed Exchange Rates and Foreign Exchange Intervention
week 11
nov-30 CHAPTER 20 Optimum Currency Areas and the European Experience
dec 2 Project presentation
week 12
dec 7 Project presentation
dec 9 Review
See the University schedule for date and time