ECON 2500 - International Trade & Investment Policy II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

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 1012
    Assessment Typically, tutorial work, mid-term & final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Benedikt Heid

    Dr Benedikt Heid

    Location: Room 4.08, 10 Pulteney Street
    Telephone: 831 34930
    Office hours for students: 1-2pm Fridays
    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 enable students to define core concepts in international economics and to apply these concepts to a range of policy related questions. The course pays particular attention to explaining the basic reasons why countries engage in international trade and investment and how trade affects consumers, workers and firms. It provides students an overview of current trade and investment patterns and the world trade system. A key objective of this course is to provide students with the necessary tools so that they can analyze currently discussed issues in international economics and formulate and evaluate potential policies for the instutions and/or governments they may work for in the future.

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Explain the concept of comparative advantage.
    2 Describe the essentials of trade theories.
    3 Identify potential winners and losers from trade.
    4 Describe the effects of multinational activity of firms and foreign direct investment.
    5 Explain effects of migration.
    6 Assess the economic impacts of trade, investment, and migration policies.
    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 6
    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
    1 to 6
    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 6
    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 6
    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
    4, 5, 6
    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 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Robert C. Feenstra, Alan M. Taylor (2015), International Economics (New York:  Worth)

    3rd Edition. ISBN-13:978-1-4292-7842-3 

    Note: The text book consists of two parts: international economics & international macroeconomics. This course will only deal with the international trade part. Therefore, students can also work with Robert C. Feenstra, Alan M. Tayloer (2015), International Trade (Macmillan), 3rd Edition. ISBN-13: 978-1-4292-7844-7, which only contains the international trade part of the book International Economics.

    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 slides will be made available.  The final exam will cover all lecture materials and assigned readings.  

    Some topics refer to chapters in a secondary text book which complements the book by Feenstra and Taylor (FT).

    Krugman, P., M. Obtsfeld and M. Melitz: International Economics: Theory and Policy, 10th edition, Pearson 2014 (KOM).

    Another valuable text book with a different style compared to the FT and KOM text books which adds an additional perspective to the topics covered is:

    McLaren, John: International Trade, Wiley 2013.

    Online Learning

    Lecture slides and assignments will be made available through the course website

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    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. 

    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 deal with solving sets of trade-related problems from the assignments. Students are expected to work through the assignments independently (or in groups) and prepare individual solutions to be handed in and discussed during the tutorial time (or as announced on MyUni and during the lecture). 


    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
    week topic chapters in Feenstra and Taylor (FT); Krugman, Obstfeld, Melitz (KOM)
    1 Globalization – an overview 1 (FT)
    2 Why do countries trade? Ricardo’s simple idea: comparative advantage 2 (FT)
    3 Who wins and who loses from international trade? The specific factors model as a primer on the political economy of trade policy – why lobbies exist 3 (FT)
    4 Trade with developing countries: the Heckscher-Ohlin model 4 (FT)
    5 Trade with industrialized countries: increasing returns to scale and monopolistic competition 6 (FT)
    6 Winners and losers again: Which firms benefit from international trade? 8 (KOM)
    7 Multinational enterprises and offshoring to developing countries 7 (FT)
    8 Trade policy: tariffs, trade wars, trade agreements and the WTO 8,9 (FT)
    9 Trade policy in developing countries: the infant industry argument 8,9 (FT); 11 (KOM)
    10 Migration policy – Should Donald Trump build a wall? 5 (FT)
    11 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – Should Australia ban Chinese investment? 5 (FT)
    12 Is trade good or bad for the environment? Australian coal exports and global CO2 emissions 11 (FT)
    Note: This list of topics covered is tentative and may change.
    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
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Mid-term test Formative & Summative

    Before week 6

    30% 1-6
    Assignments Formative & Summative Every 2 weeks 20% 1-6
    Final exam Summative Final exam period 50% 1-6
    Assessment Detail

    Mid-term Test 30%

    A 1 hour mid-term test will be held in class some time around Week 4 to 6. It will cover the materials covered so far in the lecture and tutorials.  The exact date and material covered will be announced during the lecture.

    There will not be a make-up mid-semster exam. Those who miss the mid-semester exam must obtain documentation in line with university regulations in order to avoid a grade of zero on the mid semester exam. FOr those who miss the mid-semester exam and obtain accepted documentation the relevant weight will be added to the weight of the final exam in determining the overall grade for the course.

    Assignments 20%

    There will be 6 assignments over the semester. From every assignment, one exercise will be randomly chosen and graded. The grade for the selected exercise will be 0, 2 or 4, depending on the quality of the answer provided. Particular attention will be given to the work out of the exercise's solutions.

    The grading rule to be used is: 0: no attempt to do the assignment, 2: a majority of incorrect or undocumented answers, but some effort shown. 4: a majority of correct and documented answers, considerable effort shown.

    Final Exam 50%

    There will be a 2 hour exam at the end of the course at a time to be advised. The exam will cover the entire 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 is worth 50% of the course’s assessment.

    General remarks

    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. 

    Grade calculation

    Final student grades will be determined in the following way:

    The final grade will be a weighted average of the grade obtained in the mid-term test (weight 30%), the final exam (weight 50%) and the grade obtained in the assignments (20%). 

    The grade in the assignments is calculated in the following way: Every assignment obtains 0, 2 or 4 points. The points of the best 5 of the 6 assignments are summed up. Hence, the maximum number of points from the assignments will be 20 equalling a mark of 100 for the calculation of the weighted average. Lower obtained points are scaled accordingly. 

    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.