ECN230 International Economics
Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .
Course responsible: Roberto Javier Garcia
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2011-2012
Last time: 2022V
This course is designed to bridge international economics and applied economics, providing a review of issues in development, policy, trade, and welfare analysis. While the emphasis is on the microeconomics of international trade, there are macroeconomic problems that are also addressed, such as the effect of trade on wages and employment, labor migration, capital flows, sectoral development and economic growth, and income inequality among rich and poor nations. The student is expected to develop: an understanding of why nations trade and under which conditions trade occurs; knowledge of the role of supply and demand factors in determining the gains from trade; the ability to evaluate the welfare effects of protectionist trade policies, free trade, managed trade, and the economic implications of other forms of government intervention to foster development; and a conceptual framework for evaluating international competitiveness, comparative advantage, and foreign investment and strategic trade behavior.
Current events in trade policy are analyzed from the perspective of different countries, relying on different economic sectors: agriculture, industry and services. The course has relevance for students in business, agribusiness, finance and commodity market analysis, development economics, and general economics.
A full description of course, lecture plan, course materials, exercises, and past exams are available at the following website:
The student is expected to develop: an understanding of why nations trade and under which conditions trade occurs; knowledge of the role of supply and demand factors in determining the gains from trade; the ability to evaluate the welfare effects of protectionist trade policies, free trade, managed trade, and the economic implications of other forms of government intervention to foster development; and a conceptual framework for evaluating international competitiveness, comparative advantage, and foreign investment and strategic behavior.
The emphasis is on the microeconomic theory supporting international trade, but there are important macroeconomic problems that are also addressed related to globalization, e.g., the effect of trade on wages and employment, economic issues from labor migration, capital flows and returns to capital owners and laborers, sectoral development and economic growth (manufacturing, agriculture and services), and income inequality among rich and poor nations. Economic sustainability is addressed through the lense of policy alternatives (opportunity costs and trade-offs) related to globalization (trade in goods and services and international mobility of labor and capital).
Learning activities include:
1. Self study: students are expected to read the assigned sections in the text and supplementary readings prior to attending lectures and exercise sessions. Video tips for exercises are available as are short videos of lecture summaries. There are also tutorials and presentation slides available at the website.
2. Lectures: attending lectures is not required, but are considered useful as the exercises and in-class cases are directly related to material presented in class.
3. Exercises: there are four problem sets that will be related to the class notes and readings. Students are expected to complete these assignments during exercise sessions on the dates assigned by the instructor. These assignments are intended to monitor the progress of the class in its understanding of the material. These assignments require a passing grade and students can work in groups formed by the instructor. The student can choose to work independently and submit the assignment directly to the instructor.
4. Case study: there is one written case study to be worked on as a group. Masters students may be required to present their case at the end of the semester.
The instructor is available during exercise sessions and maintains office hours during which a 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.
Appleyard and Field (A+F). International Economics (International Edition), any edition. Supplementary reading materials provided on the web at:
The course is intensive in basic microeconomic principles, which are reviewed during lectures as required. Basic knowledge in microeconomics ECN110 Inføring i mikroøkonmi (Introduction to Microeconomics) is essential. ECN210 Mikroøkonomi II - Konsument, produsent, marked og velferd (Intermediate Micro II Theory of the Consumer, Producer, Markets and Welfare) is very relevant to the course. Welfare analysis related to trade policy is covered in the second half of the course, and is given a quick review. ECN120 Innføring i makroøkonomi, del I og II (Introduction to Macroeconomics parts I and II) are relevant, but prior knowledge is not required. Any reference to macroeconomic concepts are explained in the context of their relevance to the material covered.
A good background in basic microeconomics is useful; a good background in macroeconomics is less important. Concepts from basic microeconomics (price and income elasticities, producer and consumer surplus, imperfect competition, economies of scale, etc.) are reviewed quickly in the lectures and their relevance to international economics is the focus of the lectures and reading material. Basic microeconomic concepts are discussed in a more than one country context. The course has relevance for international business and the specializations under the economics programs.
Required activities: 4 problem sets and 1 written case study
There are 4 exercises (problems sets with simple numerical calculations that relate to trade or trade policy analysis). Groups will be assigned to work on the problem sets (and the related questions). Exercise sessions are scheduled in the semester plan during which the course responsible and teaching assistant will be present. Students can choose to work in groups or alone, but the assignment must be submitted (as a group or individually) and approved. Detailed feedback will be given on the submitted work.
Problem sets are valid until the next time the course is offered and for re-examination. The course plan includes four assignment sessions during which students can work on the assignments and consult with a teaching assistant and/or the instructor. The interpretation of the results of the problem sets reinforce the concepts covered in lectures.
The case study is related to the scenario addressed in the final lecture session, analyzing a firm's internationalization strategy, i.e., the decision to export or seek markets abroad through foreign investment. This is a written 3-4 page group work assignment that provides an explanation of a firm's choice of internationalizing (serving foreign markets through either export or foreign investment). Detailed feedback will be provided on the cases.
Masters students can be asked to present their case as part of the assignment.
Final written in-class examination (3 hours) accounts for 100% of the grade. The exam must be answered in English. There are no calculations required and graphs are required only where specified. Graphical analysis can be used throughout as the student prefers.
250 hours of which:
there are about 48 hours of in-class sessions (18 lectures, 4 group exercises, 1 potential case study presentation, and 1 final exam review); and
Self-study, reading, preliminary work towards problem sets, answering follow-up questions and research/writing of the case study accounts for the additional 200 hours.
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).
Type of course:
Every week, there are 2 meetings of 2 hours each: 18 2-hour lectures sessions and 4 2-hour exercise sessions when a teaching assistant and/or the instructor will be available to help with the problem sets.
The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business (email@example.com) for admission to the course.
The course is divided into two parts: (1) trade modelling under partial and general equilibrium and (2) trade policy analysis, trade and strategic behavior by government/firm, and international factor movements (capital and labor). Course description, lecture plan, detailed course outline and course materials (web-based readings, exercises, slides, and handouts).
An external examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
Allowed examination aids: A2 No calculator, other aids as specified
Examination details: Written exam: Letter grades