ECON 3506 - International Trade III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

This course deals with the theory and practice of international trade and of trade-related policies. It focuses on analysing the gains from trade, the changing patterns of trade, the income distributional consequences of liberalising foreign trade, the relationship between trade, investment, and economic growth, and the reasons for and consequences of trade policies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 3506
    Course International Trade III
    Coordinating Unit Economics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge ECON 2506 or ECON 2514 or ECON 2516
    Assessment Typically tutorial assignments, mid-term test & final exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Dessie Ambaw

    Tutor: Wencxiao Wang
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The purpose of this course is to provide students with a thorough grounding in the theory of international trade as well as international trade policy and to demonstrate the relevance of the theory in the analysis of (a) existing patterns of international trade and what determines them, (b) the conduct of trade policy and (c) the economic implications of international trade and trade policy both for individual economies such as Australia and the wider international community.


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

    1. Compare at the level of formal analysis the major models of international trade and be able to distinguish between them in terms of their assumptions and economic implications.
    2. Employ the principle of comparative advantage and its formal expression and interpretation within different theoretical models
    3. Apply partial equilibrium and (where required) general equilibrium models in analysing the economic effects of (a) trade policy instruments such as tariffs, quotas, export subsidies, (b) retaliatory measures such as anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties and (c) the creation of regional trading arrangements such as free trade areas, customs unions and common markets.
    4. Distinguish and critically analyse the main arguments for protection and conversely be able to critically evaluate the relevance and realism of arguments for free trade, taking into account the costs and benefits of trade policy measures on different sections of the community and the implications for the formulation of trade policy.
    5. Identify major recent developments in the world trading system, and be able to critically analyse key issues raised both by the current round of WTO negotiations and by the spread of regional trading arrangements.
    6. Develop communications skills through the presentation of your work, interactions during tutorial sessions, and appropriate use of the discussion.
    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)
    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
    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
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    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
    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
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    1) International Trade: Theory and Evidence by Markusen, Melvin, Kaempfer and Maskus, Mcgraw Hill, 1995

    *** This textbook is available free of charge and may be downloaded from:

    2) International Trade, Feenstra and Taylor, Macmillan, 2017

    Recommended Resources

    This is a course in international trade theory and policy. As such, almost any advanced text on trade can be useful as authors often present similar material in varying and creative ways. You should not hesitate to refer to differing sources should you need further clarification beyond the above two texts.

    For the mathematical representations as well as more rigorious treament of the models discussed, an excellent resource is by Robert Fenstra, Advanced International Trade, Macmillan.

    Online Learning
    MyUni - 

    Other online Resources:

    International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development: 
    The World Bank: 
    Alan Deardorff’s Glossary of International Economics Terms:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Learning in this course is through lectures, tutorials, and personal study.

    The lectures will provide you with the necessary understanding of the material to be able to solve the exercises you will be given during tutorials or exams.

    Tutorials represent an important learning component of the class. Students are expected to work through the assignments and prepare solutions to be discussed during the tutorial time.


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

    Lectures: 2 Hours per week
    Tutorials: 1 Hour per week
    Home study expectation: 6 Hours per week

    Learning Activities Summary
    Teaching & Learning Activities Related Learning Outcomes
    Lectures 1-5
    Tutorials 1-6

    Lecture Schedule

    Part I Introduction Chapters
    Wk 1 Introduction - 
      Feenstra & Taylor
    Technical Concepts -

    1 - 4
    Wk 2 Why do countries trade? -
    5 - 6
    Part II Theoretical Analysis of International Trade
    Wk 3 The Classical Model: Differing Technologies - 
      Feenstra & Taylor

    Wk 4 & 5 The Heckscher-Ohlin Model  -
      Feenstra & Taylor

    Wk 5 & 6  The Specific Factors Model -
      Feenstra & Taylor

    Mid Semester Examination
    Wk 7 Government Policies as the Determinants of Trade -

    Wk 8 Imperfect Competition as the Determinant of Trade and the Gains from Trade -
      Feenstra & Taylor

    Wk 9 Increasing Returns to Scale -
      Feenstra & Taylor

    Part III Trade Policy
    Wk 10 Tariffs  -

    Quotas and Other Non-tariff Barriers -

    Week 11 Imperfect Competition, Increasing Returns and Strategic Trade Policy -

    Preferential Trade Areas

    Week 12 The Political Economy of Trade Policy
      Feenstra & Taylor

    Administered Protection

  • 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 Due Date/ Week Weight Length(Word,Time) Learning Outcomes
    Mid-term Exam Week 7 30% 100 Minutes 1 - 4
    Participation Weekly 10% 20 Minutes/Week 1 - 6
    Online Quizzes Weekly 10% 60 Minutes/Week 1 - 4
    Assignment Week 7 10% 180 Minutes 1 - 4
    Final Exam Week 13 40% 180 Minutes 1 - 5
    Total 100%

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.
    Parallel with ECON 7072 - same assessment
    Online quizzes - weekly  10%
    Assignment - Week 7 - 10%
    Mid-term exam - Week 7 - 30%
    Final exam - Week 13 - 50%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    1. Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in the midterm and final examinations because of poor hand-writing.

    2. The 11 online quizzes must be completed prior to the due date to count toward assessment. Students may make as many attempts of each quiz that he or she wishes prior to the due date and only the highest score from the attempts will recorded. Your final quiz score will be the average of the your eight best online quizzes will be counted.

    3. Redemption - If you miss a quiz, the midterm, or do not submit the assignment in due time, there will not be a replacement assessment. All missed assessments will add to the weight of the final exam such that any mark below your final exam score is effectively dropped.

    4. Hurdle - Students are required to score at least 40% on the final exam to pass the course.
    Assessment Detail


    Online Quizzes - 10%
    Weekly – except week 1
    The tutorial quizzes component of the assessment will be based on marks received for short online quizzes that will occur in each week except week 1. Of the 11 quizzes, only the best 8 will be counted toward assessment. Prior to each quizzes due date, students may make as many attempts as he or she wishes. Only the highest score from any attempt is counted.

    Assignment - 10%
    There will be a written assignment due at the close of week 7. the material covered by the assignment will be selected from week 1 through 6 (inclusive). It will consist of long problems similar to those discussed during tutorials and may also include calculations.

    The assignmentis redeemable, which means that if the grade you obtained for the final examination is higher than the one you obtained for the assignment (or if you missed the assignment altogether), the final examination grade will account for 50% of your overall grade.
    Failure to sit the midterm test will result in receiving zero points, whether a medical certificate is provided or not. 

    Assignemnt Critical thinking and problem solving
    Career and leadership readiness

    Tutorial Exercises - Non-graded
    Weekly – except week 1
    Tutorial exercises will be made available on MyUni during the week prior to the tutorial. You will be asked to prepare some exercises before going to your tutorial. Please be aware that this preparation is important as it will improve your learning during the tutorial and will contribute towards a dynamic environment where students and tutor will interact more actively with one another. These exercises are not to be submitted or graded.

    Assessment Detail University Graduate Attribute Learning
    Tutorial Discussion Critical thinking and problem solving
    Teamwork and communication skills
    Online Submission Critical thinking and problem solving
    Career and leadership readiness

    Mid semester test (Week 7) - 30%
    During lecture time, same location
    This test will assess the topics of Weeks 1-6 (inclusive). It will be 100 minutes in length.
    It will consist of problems similar to those discussed dyring tutorials and may also include multiple choice questions.

    The midterm test is redeemable, which means that if the grade you obtained for the final examination is higher than the one you obtained for the midterm (or if you missed the midterm altogether), the final examination grade will account for 70% of your overall grade.
    Failure to sit the midterm test will result in receiving zero points, whether a medical certificate is provided or not. 

    Assessment Detail University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Mid Semester Test Critical thinking and problem solving
    Career and leadership readiness 1,2,3,4

    Assessment Detail University Graduate Attribute Course Learning
    Mid Semester Test Critical thinking and problem solving
    Career and leadership readiness

    Participation - 10%
    Due Date: Weekly
    Each week during lectures, students will be asked to complete a short online quiz pertaining to that week's material. The quizzes will be completed via the students' electronic device, be it computer, tablet or smartphone. Failure to attend lectures will disallow completion of this assessment task.

    Final Exam - 40%
    There will be a 3 hour exam. The final exam is comprehensive, i.e. it can cover ALL the topics of this course. It will consist of mathematical problems and short answer questions, and may also include multiple choice questions. There is a score 40% or higher hurdle requirement on the final exam to pass the course.

    1- No late assignment accepted. Exceptional circumstances will be evaluated by the lecturer in charge on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed whenever possible at least 48 hours before the due date. Failure to hand in an assignment on time will lead to a zero mark.

    2 – Extensions and alternative assessment conditions for students with disabilities:
    It is your responsibility to contact lecturer, in the first 2 weeks of the semester and provide them with a copy of your Access Plan.
    You do not have an automatic right to extensions for assignments. You must apply for extensions in the designated way at least 2 weeks before the due date for the assignment. The usual extensions available to students with disabilities is 2 days over the regular due date of the assignments.

    3 – All assignments must be submitted electronically via MyUni. Hand written assignments may be scanned for submission

    4 – Each assignment should be accompanied by a cover sheet.

    5 - Medical reports from only Australian registered medical practitioners are accepted. See for the list of acceptable medical practitioners:
    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.

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