ECON 421: International Trade B1

ECON 421: International Trade B1
Department of Economics
Winter 2021
Professor: Beyza Ural Marchand
Class meetings: Asynchronous
Office Hours: By appointment
1 Course Description
This is a one-semester course in international trade. The objective of the course is to present
international trade theories in an applied context. The course covers material describing the
pattern of world production and explaining the basis for international trade and the gains from
trade. We survey trade policies and evaluate the effects of these policies on domestic and
international welfare. We look at new arguments for restricting trade and the development of
preferential trading agreements. We study the World Trade Organization, international factor
mobility, and special issues for developing economies.
Students should pay close attention to the class schedule. You should read the material prior
to the class meeting and be able to discuss the material with the class. You should also read
about current events in the world economy throughout the semester.
Prerequisites ECON 281 and MATH 154. In other cases, Department consent is required.
Students are expected to know basic calculus and are familiar with graphical analysis.
More information on the Math requirement is available here.
2 Material
ˆ Lectures: All lectures will be available online and will be posted on a weekly basis. There
will be an announcement on eClass describing how you can access the lectures. Because
the course is delivered on an asynchronous basis, you can listen to the lectures in your own
time. However, I strongly recommend taking the lectures on Tuesdays and Thursdays
when the course is regularly scheduled. Recording the lectures is strongly prohibited.
Please see below for class regulations.
ˆ Textbook:
– International Trade. Robert C. Feenstra and Alan M. Taylor. 5th Edition, Worth
Publishers, 2021.
The digital copy is available here to buy or rent. The 4th edition of the book is also
acceptable. Study Guide is recommended.
ˆ Online Resources: Other lecture notes, handouts, assignments and answer keys will be
available on eClass. You are recommended to check eClass site frequently to make sure you
are aware of all the announcements and supplementary readings. Past and representative
evaluative course material will also be available on eClass.
ˆ I will cover some concepts that are not in the textbook. The textbook should be viewed
as a complement to the lectures, not a substitute. The goal is to have a good grasp of
international trade concepts, which requires (1) closely following the lectures (2) studying
the lecture notes (3) reading the textbook. Therefore, class attendance is very important
to do well on examinations. If you have difficulty in understanding the material, please
make an appointment through email.
3 Assessment
Exams or Assignments Share in Final Grade Date
Homework 1 20 February 4
Midterm Exam 1 30 March 4
Homework 2 20 March 25
Midterm Exam 2 30 April 15
Midterm Exams: Due to the remote delivery, the midterm exams will be take-home exams.
All students enrolled in the class are expected to submit the exams on scheduled dates.
There will be no make-up midterm exam. If you are not able to write your first midterm
exam because of a legitimate reason, the weight will be transferred to the second midterm
exam. If you miss the second midterm exam because of a legitimate reason, the weight
will be transferred uniformly to the rest of the classwork. Please fill out the Medical
Declaration From if you have a medical reason.
Assignments: Assignments will be available on eClass two weeks before the due date. They
will be due by 9:30 AM on the due date. The penalty for late assignments is 10 points
for each day until the answer key is posted on the website, after which point they will
not be accepted. If you do not submit the assignment, you will get a mark of zero and
the weight will not be transferred to the rest of the classwork.
Overall Evaluation: I will use a combination of absolute measures and grade distribution.
I may also take into account improving performance, class participation, and assignment
completion when evaluating overall performance.
4 Topics
ˆ Introduction to the Course. An overview of World Trade.
ˆ Labor Productivity and Comparative Advantage: The Ricardian Model.
ˆ Gains and Losses from Trade in the Specific Factors Model.
ˆ Resources, Comparative Advantage, and Income Distribution: The Hecksher-Ohlin Theory.
ˆ International Factor Movements.
ˆ Economies of Scale, Imperfect Competition, and International Trade.
ˆ Offshoring of Goods and Services.
ˆ International Trade Policies: Import Tariffs and Quotas.
ˆ Export subsidies in Agriculture and High Technology Industries. (if time permits)
ˆ International Agreements: Trade, Labour and the Environment. (if time permits)
5 Regulations
Academic Integrity: The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of
academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards
regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect.
Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code
of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behavior
which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of
facts, and/or participation in an offense. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense and can
result in suspension or expulsion from the University.
Recording: Audio or video recording, digital or otherwise, of lectures, labs, seminars or any
another teaching environment by students is allowed only with the prior written consent
of the instructor or as part of an approved accommodation plan. Student or instructor
content, digital or otherwise, created and/or used within the context of the course is to be
used solely for personal study, and is not to be used or distributed for any other purpose
without prior written consent from the content author(s).
Accessibility: Students registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) who will be using
accommodations in the classroom, or who will be writing exams through SAS, are required
to provide a “Letter of Accommodation” to me as soon as possible. Those students who
need accommodated exams must provide me with an Exam Instructions and Authorization form one week before each exam. You are encouraged to make an appointment with
me to discuss any required accommodations. For more information, please contact SAS to obtain a determination as to what accommodations should be
Course Outlines: Policy about course outlines can be found in the Evaluation Procedures
and Grading System section of the University Calendar.
Disclaimer: Any typographical errors in this syllabus are subject to change and will be announced in class and posted on eClass. The date of the final examination is set by the
Registrar and takes precedence over the final examination date reported in this syllabus.
6 Resources
Student Success Centre: The Student Success Centre offers a variety of learning resources, including a variety of workshops in learning effective
study and exam strategies. Sessions are available in person and online, for a modest fee.
Student Accessibility Services: The University of Alberta is committed to creating work
and learning communities that inspire and enable all people to reach their full potential. Accessibility Resources promotes an accessible, inclusive, and universally designed
environment. For general information and to register for services visit the Accessibility
Resources webpage.
Centre for Writers: The Centre for Writers offers free one-on-one writing coaching to all students. Students can request a consultation for a writing project at
any stage of development, including completed and graded work.
First People’ House: The First Peoples’ House provides an environment of empowerment
for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit learners to achieve personal and academic growth.
Health and Wellness Support: There are many health and community services available to
current students. For more information visit the Health and Wellness Support webpage.
Office of the Student Ombuds: The Office of the Student Ombuds offers confidential interviews, advice, and support to students facing academic, discipline, interpersonal and
financial difficulties.