Module description International Economics I

Module name

International Economics I

Credit points

5 ECTS credits


Lecture (2 hours/week) and tutorial (1 hour/week): 5 ECTS


Dr. Kateryna Khorkhordina

Module Coordinator

Dr. Kateryna Khorkhordina


This module offers an introduction to the theory and policy of international trade with special reference to trade policy in developing countries. The contents that will be covered are:

  • International trade models (the Ricardian model, the specific-factors model, the Heckscher-Ohlin model,  the standard trade model) and impacts on growth and income distribution;
  • Movement of labour and capital between countries;
  • Increasing returns to scale and monopolistic competition;
  • Offshoring of goods and services;
  • Import tariffs and quotas under perfect and imperfect competition;
  • Export policies in resource-based and high-technology industries;
  • The instruments of trade policy;
  • The political economy of trade policy;
  • Trade policy in developing countries;
  • Controversies in trade policy.

Learning objectives and skills

This module aims for students to acquire appropriate skills to critically reflect on and analyse issues of international trade in developing countries. The focus is both on theoretical and policy-oriented knowledge.

Subject-specific skills:

  • Students learn about various theoretical models of international trade, critically analyse differences between them and assess impacts on various factors
  • Students reflect on how these models apply to current trade relate issues globally and within specific country contexts.
  • Students learn about different trade policy instruments and critically assess their impacts on national and firm level economic performance.
  • Students analyse how political economy factors affect trade dynamics and reflect on current controversies around international trade.

Learning and methodological skills:

  • Students learn to calculate the gains and losses from international trade.
  • Students develop theoretical models to account for different drivers of trade and capture socio-economic impacts.
  • Students analyse qualitatively (short case studies) and quantitatively the drivers and impacts of trade.

Personal skills:

  • Students reflect critically on current trade related issues (e.g. trade agreements currently under) discussed in the media and on the political factors contributing to shaping various trade outcomes.
  • Students develop a balanced perspective on the drivers of and barriers to international trade, and the controversies around trade policy.
  • Students evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses in relation to policymaking.

Social skills:

  • During lectures and tutorials students actively engage by asking questions and clearly communicating their points of view and arguments;
  • Students engage respectfully with fellow classmates in exchanging different points of view on various topics.
  • Students work in small groups during tutorials to solve problems and reflect on questions.



Integration in curriculum

First semester (winter semester).

Module compatibility

Required core module in “MA in Development Economics & International Studies” (DEIS); Elective module in “MA Nahoststudien”.

Method of examination

Written exam (60 minutes).

Grading procedure

Written exam: 100%

Module frequency

Yearly (winter semester).

Resit examinations

Failed exams can be retaken twice.


  • Class time: 45 hours
  • Study time: 105 hours


One semester

Teaching and examination language


Recommended reading

Paul R. Krugman, Maurice Obstfeld, Marc J. Melitz (2015): International Economics. Theory and Policy, 10th ed., Pearson, Chapters 1-12.

Robert C. Feenstra, Alan M. Taylor (2017): International Trade, 4th ed., Worth Publishers, Chapters 1-11.

Last modified

October 2017