This course will provide you with an analytical framework for the study of international trade. Historically, international trade has played a critical role in enabling countries to grow, develop, and become economically powerful. Through international trade in goods and services, the economies of different countries are more closely linked to one another now than ever before. At the same time, the world economy is more turbulent now than it has been in decades. Keeping up with the shifting international environment has become a central concern in business strategy and national economic policy. This course uses the same fundamental methods of analysis deployed in other branches of economics, as the motives and behavior of individuals and firms remain the same whether they are in the context of international trade or domestic transactions. You will learn, however, that international trade introduces an entirely new and different set of concerns as well.
This course will cover a broad array of relevant topics. We will explore both theoretical models and empirical studies as we seek to determine a model that best fits "real world" data. This course will frequently compare and contrast competing theories concerning the nature of international trade and the gains or losses thereof. We will work to understand the economic intuition behind technically demanding models and define the assumptions behind various theories before evaluating how well those models fit actual trading economies. We will also explore the relevance and policy implications of various theories/models, especially in terms of growth, income distribution, and development.