ECON30160 International Trade Economics

Academic Year 2022/2023

This course introduces students to the basic concepts of international trade where the overarching interest is what determines the flow of goods, services, and capital across countries. In particular, this course explores the various factors that shape trade patterns from both a theoretical and empirical point of view. Students will be familiarised with theoretical models in order to understand the dynamics of international trade and to critically discuss their relevance in the context of the changing geopolitical environment in which these policies exist.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completing this module students will be able to
• 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.
• Employ the principle of comparative advantage and its formal expression and interpretation within different theoretical models.
• Demonstrate and contrast the economic effects of trade policy instruments such as tariffs, quotas, export subsidies as well as those of the creation of preferential trading arrangements such as free trade areas, customs unions and common markets.
• Identify and critically appraise major recent developments in the world trading system.
• Demonstrate the ability to work in groups and prepare a scientific report.

Indicative Module Content:

The main textbook for this module is:
International Trade, R. Feenstra and A. Taylor, 5th edition, Macmillan Education 2021. (FT) Earlier editions of this textbook are fine.
Please note, this is equivalent to Parts 1-4 (chapters 1-11) of:
International Economics, R. Feenstra and A. Taylor, 5th edition, Macmillan Education 2021.
This is available from the UCD library.

For two topics this will be complemented by:
International Economics – Theory and Policy, P.R. Krugman, M. Obstfeld and M.J. Melitz, 11th edition, Pearson 2018. (KOM)

- Trade in the global economy (FT ch. 1)
- Gravity (KOM ch. 2)
- Trade and technology: The Ricardian model (FT ch. 2)
- Trade and resources: The Heckscher-Ohlin model (FT ch. 4)
- Firms in the global economy (KOM ch. 8)
- Import tariffs and quotas under perfect competition (FT ch. 8)
- International trade agreements: trade, labour and the environment (FT ch. 11)
- Time permitting further topics may be covered.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Small Group


Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Learning in this course is through recorded lectures, a trade policy group assignment, and personal study.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Colloborative learning throughout the semester Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Class Test: 1-hour MCQ and short answer test Week 7 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Class Test: MCQ, short answer and essay-type questions Week 12 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Professor Ronald Davies Lecturer / Co-Lecturer