Course code ECN330

ECN330 Economic Integration and Trade Liberalization

Norsk emneinformasjon

Search for other courses here

Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Roberto Javier Garcia
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
There is a 20 student limit to enrollment.
Teaching exam periods:

The course will be offered from the autumn semester in 2021. 

The course starts in the autumn semester, with lectures ending midway through the semester to give students time to work on their semester projects, which are evaluating at the end of the autumn semester.

Course frequency: <p>The course will be offered from the autumn semester in 2021.</p><p>The course is given annually during the autumn semester.</p>
First time: Study year 2007-2008
Course contents:

The course is designed to provide a practical understanding of economic integration (as developed by the European Union) and the multilateral trading system of the World Trade Organization as institutional platforms to address the economics of globalization. Globalization, defined from an economic perspective, is the international trade in goods and services and cross-border mobility of labor and capital. Membership in these institutions are studied to analyze the economic and business-relevant implications of the rules and the legal commitments that affect trade and factor movements. Particular attention is given to the sectoral implications (e.g., agriculture, industrial goods, and services) of the economy as specified in EU treaty and WTO agreements. The course provides a comprehensive overview over the treatment of trade policy (import/export taxes, subsidies and quotas) and domestic regulations (sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, investment measures, subsidies, agricultural programs, etc.) which have trade policy equivalence. The student is expected to develop: a conceptual framework for understanding the economic implications of regional integration versus the WTO's multilateral trading system; the ability to provide an economic assessment of trade policies and domestic regulations for a country to determine whether such policy/program is compliant with a country's WTO commitments; and the ability to analyze the business implications of specific trade rules and the policies employed by different countries.

A full description of the course, lecture plan, course materials, exercises and past exams are available at the following website:

Learning outcome:

The course is intended to advance international economics by bridging economic theory and concepts related to trade and cross-border capital and labor flows with the business implications of the rules on the use of trade policy and national policies/regulations that affect trade and factor mobility. The institutional framework of the European Union and the World Trade Organization serve as a means to assess and analyze legally-based rules relative to economic theory and the implications for the business community.

The student is expected to: (1) develop a conceptual framework for understanding the economic implications of regional integration versus the WTO's multilateral trading system; (2) obtain the knowledge to assess a country's trade policy and national regulations for compliance with the rules and commitments of a member state of the WTO; and (3) develop the ability to analyze the business implications of specific trade policies and national regulations/programs employed in different countries. 

The course has direct relevance to development studies, commodity market analysis, agribusiness and food markets, and international business through its focus on policies affecting trade in goods and services, regulations affecting the mobility of labor and capital, and their implications for domestic and international markets. 

Learning activities:

There are expected to be 10-11 three-hour lecure sessions given intensively at in the first half of the semester. Students are expected to come prepared for lectures by having read the assigned materials.

There are 2-3 exercises to be worked on as a group or in smaller groups (depending on the class size) during lecture sessions. These exercises (problem sets) are intended to reinforce concepts and topics covered in the lectures. The exercises are not graded, but must receive a passing grade for a student to sit for the exam.

In addition, students will work on a semester project, a term paper, on the specifics of case involving a trade dispute at the WTO. The semester project will require the application of the knowledge obtained through the lectures and reading assignments by having students understand the objectives of a country's policy, analyze the trade implications of that policy, and assess the merits of the arguments of the parties involved in the trade dispute after weighing the objectives of the policy against the evidence of the policy's effects. The semester project requires group work of 2-3 students who will  jointly submit a written paper. Each student will individually orally defend the paper. Both the written paper and the oral defense of the project will be graded.

Teaching support:

The instructor is available during exercise sessions and maintains office hours during which the student can seek consultations with the instructor. Should the student prefer to have more feedback on exercises or want to follow up on points made during class lectures, office hours or e-mail contact are appropriate for that purpose.

Once the lectures sessions are over midway through the semester, students will be working on their semester project. The instructor will be available for consultations during the time allocated for lectures. The instructor will accept drafts of the paper to edit and comment. After submission of the semester project, each group can expect to have a written evaluation of the paper with general and specific comments on the quality of the work.


The required reading materials consist of two textbooks: Hoekman and Kostecki, The Political Economy of the World Trading System; and any international economics textbook, e.g., Krugman, Obsfelt and Melitz, International Economics: Theory and Policy (Pearson Education Limited), or Appleyard and Field, International Economics (McGraw-Hill, Inc.).

In addition, there are supplementary readings on line. All course information available at:


The course is designed to be relevant for students of business and economics and is open for students from outside the School of Economics and Business. It is a core course under the Agribusiness and Food Economics specialization because of its relevance for analysis of commodity and food markets, which should also appeal to students in developing studies and agricultural and food sciences. 

Students with some background in business or economics with an intermediate course in microecomics (ECN210 Mikroøkonomi II - Konsument, produsent, marked og velfred) are eligible. Advanced bachelors' students with strong foundation in business or economics are also eligible. ECN230 International Economics is very relevant course, but it is not a prerequisite. Some students have chosen to take the two courses at the same time. Students from outside the School of Economics and Business can be assured that the relevant basic economic concepts are reviewed before their application is extended in this course.    

Recommended prerequisites:
A firm background in basic/intermediate microeconomics is useful. Relevant theory covered at the bachelor's level (e.g., trade theory, policy analysis, and theory of the second best) are refreshed and basic microeconomic concepts such as price and income elasticities, producer and consumer surplus, imperfect competition, etc. are reviewed as necessary. 
Mandatory activity:

Students are required to work on 2-3 group exercises during scheduled lecture sessions, receiving a passing grade to sit for the exam. Students perferring to work individually and remotely can submit the assignment electronically on the day it is assigned. The exercises are not counted toward the final grade.

In addition there is a semester group project consisting of a written term paper on a case of a trade policy dispute at the WTO.  The term paper is to be submitted toward the end of the semester in time for it to be  graded and included into the final grade. An oral exam, the individual defense of the written paper, is a necessary component of the semester project and also counts toward the final grade. 

Finally, a final written exam covering lecture material is also required. 

A written finan exam is required as part of the final grade. The exam must be written in English. There are no calculations required and graphs are required only where specified. Graphical analysis can be used throughout as the student prefers.
Nominal workload:
300 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).
Type of course:
There are expected to be 30-33 lecture hours, six hours per week (2 x 3 hour sessions) which includes time for group work on exercises. Lectures end midway through the semester to give students time and space to work on their semester projects. 
The course will be offered from the autumn semester in 2021. 
An external examiner will control the quality of the syllabus and questions for the final examination. The external sensor will also evaluate the paper and be present for the oral defense of the paper.  
Examination details: :