ECO 339L • International Finance
The typical questions addressed in this class are: Why do countries engage (increasingly) in trade? What factors affect trade flows? Is trade always good for everybody? Should we manage trade flows and if so, do quotas, subsidies and tariffs make sense? What is a balance-of-payments crisis and what happened in 1971-73? How are exchange rates determined, anyways? Who and what factors determine the exchange rate? What role does the Federal Reserve and capital markets play? What are the main characteristics of international capital / financial markets? The class covers the two aspects of trade: real (physical flows, 1/3 of the class) and monetary (exchange rate, money, institutions, policies, 2/3 of the class). We concentrate on theories (normative, long run) as well as on policies (positive, short run). Numerous real-world examples are taken and current policy debates are explored; the illustrations include trade with China, the repercussions of the ongoing world crisis, the value of the dollar you name it. The objective of the class is to enrich your mind in two ways. First you will learn new definitions, tools, models and the accompanying illustrations. Second you will use those tools to think analytically and critically about the economic situations and issues that surround us. Given the topic and news, class participation and critical thinking are encouraged. Tests consist of quizzes and homeworks (lowest discarded), 2 midterms, 1 final and are made of a mix of definitions, multiple-choice questions, commented graphs and short answers/essays.