ECON 2500 - International Trade & Investment Policy II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

This is an introductory undergraduate course in international trade. The course covers the following standard topics: the main reasons for trade, trade patterns, trade and income distribution, FDI and immigration, trade policy instruments, WTO and the multilateral trading system, trade agreements. The course may also cover additional topics such as offshoring, trade and child labour, globalisation and environment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 2500
    Course International Trade & Investment Policy II
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible ECON 2000
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 1004
    Assessment Typically, tutorial work, mid-term & final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dess Pearson

    Course Lecturer: Mr Dess Pearson, Bachelor of Economics (La Trobe University); Graduate Diploma in Public Economic Policy (Australian National University); Master of Management in Industry Strategy (Australian National University); MBA (Edinburgh Business School, UK); Professional Certificate in International Trade (University of Adelaide).

    Contact email address:

    Contact telephone: 0434 360 299
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of international trade and investment theory, along with a wide range of related policy questions. The course pays particular attention to understanding the basic reasons why countries engage in international trade and investment and how open and free trade can facilitate positive outcomes in countries in terms of economic efficiency, growth and employment. It introduces the standard trade and investment theory and then considers international institutions such as the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund , World Bank and other trading and investment arrangerments such as ASEAN, NAFTA, the EU and TPP agreements reflect current policy objectives. The objective is to understand how the economic way of thinking helps us understand these policies, and what role these international and regional institutions or agreements can play in encouraging policieds to improve national and global standards of living.

    Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to:

    1 To gain knowledge of what determines exports and imports.
    2 To understand how trade affects production and consumption in each trading country.
    3 To identify gains and losses from trade.
    4 To learn the essentials of trade theories.
    5 To represent partial and general equilibrium analysis of trade.
    6 To understand the role of scale economies and imperfect competition in trade.
    7 To understand the link between growth and trade.
    8 To analyse the economic impacts of trade policy.
    9 To survey arguments for and against protectionism.
    10 To analyse the economic impacts of regional integration and free-trade agreements.
    11 To understand the role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
    12 To survey issues in trade resulting from factor movements.
    13 To survey issues in trade and the environment.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1 to 13
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 5 and 10
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1 to 13
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1 to 13
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1 to 13
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1 to 13
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Thomas A. Pugel (2015), International Economics (New York:  McGraw-Hill Irwin)

    16th  Edition. ISBN-13:978-0-07-337575-5 

    The textbook is abbreviated TEXT in the reading list.  The principal focus of this course is on the materials covered in Parts 1 and 2 of the TEXT, but certain other portions of this textbook may also be used.

    Recommended Resources

    Further Reading 

    You are expected to read the textbook as well as the articles assigned in lectures or tutorials.  In addition, a series of lecture notes will be made available.  The final exam will cover all lecture materials and assigned readings.  For specific topics students may also consult one or more of the following advanced textbooks: 

    Online Learning

    Lecture power-points and Tutorial questions will be made available through the course website

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The content of the course includes economic theory and policy discussions. The content is organised into 4 main components: a) Definition of the International Economic Environment, b) Theories of International Trade, c) Trade and Investment policy, and d) Special Issues in International Trade. 

    The format of the teaching consists of formal lectures and tutorial/workshop sessions held intensively. The lectures introduce new concepts, encourage textbook revision, and provide anchor points for further academic development. In tutorials, discussions relating to the various trade theories and policies will be initiated and students will be expected to fully participate, so it is imperative you come to class well prepared. 

    The selected textbook is one of the most authoritative and up-to-date international trade second year textbooks, Pugel (2015), International Economics (New York:  McGraw-Hill Irwin). This textbook explains in detail the various trade theories and concepts and provides numerous examples of real-life policy applications. It also uses ample narratives to clarify important aspects of the expected learning. 

    Lecture sessions

    The lectures consist of a combination of power point slides and graphical analyses on the white board, allowing for presentation of the economic theory in analytical, numerical, and graphical contexts.   


    Tutorials represent an important learning component of the class. They are aimed to foster problem solving and discussion skills, and they are designed based on the combination of lectures material and textbook. 

    The tutorials will comprise sets of trade-related problems. Students are expected to work through the assignments independently (or in groups) and prepare solutions to be discussed during the tutorial time. Students will be expected to present a topic (set tutorial questions) of their choice to the class, either individually or as part of a small group (no more than three people).


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures throughout the semester plus tutorial classes. In addition, students should allocate 4-5 hours per week to undertake reading and individual study. The lecturer is available for one-on-one consultations at times to be arranged by mutual agreement. Consultations will be held in the lecturer’s designated room.

    Learning Activities Summary
      1 Defining the International Economic Environment, and Basics of Demand and Supply TEXT, Chapters 1 and 2
      2 Why do countries trade?
      3 Factor Endowments as Determinants of Trade; Text, Chapters 3 and 4
      4 Gains and Losses from International Trade Text, Chapter 5
      5 Alternative Theories of Trade Text, Chapters 6
      6 Growth and Trade: Text, Chapter 7
      7 Trade Policy, Tariffs Text, Chapter 8
     8  Trade Policy: Non-Tariffs Barriers Text, Chapter 9
      9 Exports Behaviour and Policies
    10 Introduction to the WTO,
    11 Pushing Exports, dumping and arguments for and against protection
    Mid-term Test (10 multiple-choice questions and 3 short answer) (60 mins)
    12 Trade Blocs and Trade Blocks Trade Embargoes Text, Chapter 12
    Trade Liberalisation
    13 Trade and Investment in Services
    14 Foreign Direct Investment and Multinationals, Chapter 15
    15 Trade and Migration, Chapter 15
    16 Trade and the Environment TEXT, Chapter 13
    The last lecture may comprise a revision of key concepts covered together with a briefing on the final exam.
    Final Examination: To be advised
    * Note: The schedule above may be subject to modifications. Students are to form groups of 2 or 3 (no more) and address one of the tutorial questions posed in tutorials 1 to 11 (on MyUni) and present them to class (with the aid of PPTs). These presentations are an integral part of the course and are worth 15% of the course assessment.
    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    This course’s assessment encourages and reinforces learning and measures achievement of the stated learning objectives by evaluating (a) class discussion (clarifying and initiating ideas); (b) group cooperation and learning (through the oral presentation and written paper); critical thinking and analysis (written assignment) and working under pressure (exam). The relative weights reflect the importance of each of the assessment modes. The assessment practices are fair and equitable as students have the choice of either working individually or in small groups.

    Mid-term Test          25%

    A Mid-term test will be held in the week just before the start of the mid-semester break.  It will cover Topics 1 to 9. 

    Individual/Group Presentation-Tutorials        15%

    Students are expected to do an individual or group presentation of one of the tutorial questions outlined in tutorials 1 to 11 (on MyUni). The presentation will be graded according to the following criteria: (i) knowledge of the material (content and research); (ii) presentation skills and (iii) answers to proposed questions from the lecturer and students. Groups are NOT to exceed 3 persons.

    Tutorial Attendance – Participation 10%. 10% is allocated to tutorial attendance and class participation/discussion.

    Final Exam           50%

    There will be a hour exam at the end of the course at a time to be advised. The exam will cover the entire course.

    Assessment Related Requirements

    Attendance is expected for all tutorials/workshops and will be worth course credit (10%). Tutors will organise students’ presentation times based, where possible, on student preferences.

    Assessment Detail

    A Mid-term test will be held during lecture time.  It will cover Topics 1 to 9. The duration of the test will be 60 minutes. The format will be a combination of multiple choice questions (10) and short answer questions (3).  The test will count for 205% of the grade.

    The individual/group presentation is an important component of assessment. It tests your ability to research, answer questions succinctly using the relevant content of the course and being able to orally present your facts and findings. The typical format for presentations is through the use of Power Points (PPTs). Students MUST present a copy of the PPT to their tutor, and subject to students’ consent, the lecturer will post the PPTs on the MyUni site for all to access. The presentation will be worth 15%.

    The final exam will cover the full set of material developed in this course.  This includes all materials from the lectures, assignment textbook, and other readings, as well as discussions and exercises considered in the tutorials. The final exam will comprise 2 compulsory short answer questions (worth 25% of the exam) and a choice of 3 essay questions from 4. The essay questions (worth 75% of the exam) will test the students’ ability to draw policy implications (and make recommendations to decision makers) from the theories and models studied in the course. The final exam is worth 50% of the course’s assessment.

    Please be advised that cheating in examinations and plagiarism are serious acts of academic misconduct. Any incidence will be reported for disciplinary action. 

    Any student not able to sit the mid-semester test or do a tutorial oral presentation must present a valid justification together with documentary evidence (eg on medical or compassionate or exceptional circumstance grounds) before any redemption points can be arranged for the final exam. 

    Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process.  Please note that marks will be deducted in the final examination for poor English expression

    Dictionaries (e.g., Chinese to English) will be allowed in examinations but not electronic ones. Economics dictionaries will not be allowed. 

    Final student grades will be determined by comparing:
    1. A weighted average of the marks obtained for the presentation, mid-term test and final exam; and

    2. The grade (out of 100) obtained in the final examination. Students will be awarded the higher of either the weighted average grade or the raw final exam score. As an example, if student A gets 76% as a weighted average score but a raw exam score of 73%, he/she will get 76%. Likewise, if student B obtains a 63% score as a weighted average but gets a raw exam score of 66%, he or she will get 66%. The grading system works for you provided you do ALL course assessments AND attend/participate in tutorials.

    Submission of the assignments is required as per instructions on MyUni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Additional Assessment
    If a student receives 45-49 for their final mark for the course they will automatically be granted an additional assessment. This will most likely be in the form of a new exam (Additional Assessment) and will have the same weight as the original exam unless an alternative requirement (for example a hurdle requirement) is stated in this semester’s Course Outline. If, after replacing the original exam mark with the new exam mark, it is calculated that the student has passed the course, they will receive 50 Pass as their final result for the course (no higher) but if the calculation totals less than 50, their grade will be Fail and the higher of the original mark or the mark following the Additional Assessment will be recorded as the final result.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.