Welcome to ECON307: International Trade
Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.
Explore the theory behind international trade, trade policy issues, and the implications of tariffs and non-tariff barriers for trade and welfare. Topics include the theory of exchange rates, international finance, and the global capital market.
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.
This course includes the following units:
- Unit 1: International Trade Theory
- Unit 2: International Trade Policy
- Unit 3: Exchange Rates and Open-Economy Macroeconomics
- Unit 4: International Macroeconomic Policy
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- distinguish between international trade and international finance;
- discuss the importance of trade in the world and how this has changed over the past decades;
- describe the current world trading system and the basic rules underlying this system;
- explain and discuss historic, current, and emerging economic models in the United States and around the world;
- discuss recent developments in the field of international macroeconomics;
- use an analytical framework to examine contemporary international economic issues;
- discuss international trade and the issues arising from the globalization of markets;
- discuss the concepts of foreign exchange, its importance to individuals, businesses; and the performance of national economies, and how foreign exchange markets work;
- analyze policy issues related to international trade;
- describe the legal system governing international economic transactions and international economic relations; and
- answer the four trade questions: Why do countries trade? How does trade affect production and consumption in each country? Which country gains from trade? Within each country, who are the gainers and losers from opening trade?
Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.
The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.
All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.
Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score
Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.
Tips for Success
ECON307: International Trade is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 49 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.
Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:
- Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
- As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.
- Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.
In order to take this course, you should:
- have completed the following courses:
This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.
- To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.
For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.
This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.