ECON 3403-001 International Economics Policy

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ECON 3403-001 International Economics Policy
Economics 3403
International Economics and Policy
Spring 2007
Office Hours:
Billy Mertens
[email protected]
T 1:50 – 5:20pm; R 1:50am – 2:50pm; and by appointment
Because of the large class size, having to read through excessive and often frivolous emails can take time
away from other students’ serious concerns. So please try to avoid emailing me questions for which you
already have access to the answer (e.g. questions that are answered in the syllabus). I will answer emails
on Tuesday nights or Wednesdays. I will try to answer some emails on other days as well, but I will
specifically reserve a couple of hours (“email office hours”) on either Tuesday nights or Wednesdays.
Students must have completed ECON 2010 and ECON 2020, or have completed ECON 1000. It is NOT
sufficient to take these courses concurrently. I assume that you did not only take the class(es), but also that
you understand and remember the content. The prerequisites must be strictly enforced.
Course Description:
In this course, we will study the theories, policies, and institutions of international trade and finance. The
economic, political, and social forces underlying many of the issues involved in international economics
are complex, multi-faceted, and dynamic. They cannot be fully or easily analyzed in a professional
lifetime, much less a one-semester course. They do, however, lend themselves extremely well to critical
thinking and rational inquiry, which are the guiding principles of this course. Our goal is to become and
remain informed about issues related to international economics and, even more importantly, acquire the
ability to think about complex issues in a logical objective manner. Thinking critically is what permits us
to differentiate between the illogical and the sensible, between the misleading use of statistics, misleading
anecdotal evidence, and the reasonable presentation of information.
We will use several different models to analyze the different topics covered. These models are based
largely on diagrams and some mathematics. You will be given problem sets that will be instrumental in
your preparation for exams. I will cover all necessary material to complete these problem sets and prepare
for exams in class. The text is helpful in understanding many of the topics will cover, but it will not help
you at all for other topics and you should not rely on it as your primary source of information. I will
post some summary outlines on the course website, but these notes and the book are meant to
complement what you learn in class – they are not substitutes for lecture materials!
Your course grade will be based on four exams (17% each), four problem sets (2% each) and a cumulative
final (24%). Exams are not cumulative (other than the final), but the material does build on itself so it is
important to understand all of the concepts as we go. If you miss an exam, then the weight of your final
will be increased. Note that the exam dates below are not tentative – exams will be given in class on
the days listed. NO EXAMS WILL BE DROPPED!!
Grading Disputes:
If you have a grading dispute, see your TA. If you cannot resolve the dispute with your TA, then your TA
will contact me. Do NOT email me about a grading dispute.
If you have a dispute on a test, then you must put your issue in writing and submit it to your TA.
Subsequently, your entire exam will be regarded. Do NOT email me about a grading dispute.
Incompletes, Extra Credit, etc.:
I adhere strictly to the University guidelines on Incompletes (“An IF is given only when students, beyond
their control, have been unable to complete course requirements. A substantial amount of work must have
been satisfactorily completed before approval for such a grade is completed.”). Economics department
policy prohibits IWs. Bad grades, unsatisfactory performance, too many credit hours, work conflicts, etc.
are not reasons for an incomplete.
I am adamant about giving each student an equal opportunity to perform well in the course, so there
will be no extra credit opportunities that are not offered to the entire class. You should focus your
efforts on learning the material and doing well on the exams.
Tentative Course Schedule:
Introduction, Review
General Equilibrium Modeling
The Classical/Ricardian Trade Model
The Heckscher-Ohlin Model
Exam 1: Tuesday, February 6th
The Specific Factors Model
Evidence and Other Reasons for Trade
Exam 2: Thursday, March 1st
Non-tariff Barriers
Other Commercial Policies and issues
Public Choice and International Trade
Preferential Trade Arrangements
Trade Institutions (if time)
Exam 3: Thursday, March 22nd
Foreign Exchange Markets
Prices and Exchange Rates
Interest Rates and Interest Parity
Interest Rates, Exchange Rates, NCO and NX
Foreign Direct Investment and MNEs
Exam 4: Thursday, April 26th
Cumulative Final Exam: Wednesday, May 9th at 10:30am
If you have three or more final exams scheduled on the same day, you are entitled to arrange an alternative
exam time for the last exam or exams scheduled on that day. To qualify for rescheduling final exam times,
you must provide evidence that you have three or more exams on the same day, and arrangements must be
made with your instructor no later than the end of the sixth week of the semester (Friday, February 23,
Because the final exam policy calls for the last exam scheduled on the day of 3 or more finals, it is
impossible for the final for this class to be moved (as it cannot possibly be the last of 3 finals on any one
day). If you do have 3 or more finals on one day, then you should be sure to talk to your professor for the
last final scheduled on that day before 02/23/07 – I will not allow you to switch the final for this class just
because you were late in notifying your other professor.
Grading Scale:
Your score
92% to 100%
90% to 91%
88% to 89%
82% to 87%
80% to 81%
78% to 79%
72% to 77%
70% to 71%
68% to 69%
62% to 67%
60% to 61%
Below 59.5%
Additional Notes:
Honor Code
All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to
the academic integrity policy of this institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating,
plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All
incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council
([email protected]; 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic
integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and nonacademic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion).
Additional information on the Honor Code can be found at
http://www.colorado.edu/policies/honor.html and at
If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit a letter to the instructor
from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs may be addressed. Disability
Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact: 303-4928671, Willard 322, or
Religious holidays
A comprehensive calendar of the religious holidays most commonly observed by CU-Boulder
students can be found at http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/ Review this list and the class
syllabus. After reviewing the syllabus, please see the instructor if you believe that you need an
accommodation for religious reasons. The instructor should be notified within the first two weeks
of classes. Campus policy regarding religious observances states that faculty must make
reasonable accommodation for them and in so doing, be careful not to inhibit or penalize those
students who are exercising their rights to religious observance. For more information see
Code of Behavior
Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning
environment. Students who fail to adhere to behavioral standards may be subject to discipline.
Faculty have the professional responsibility to treat students with understanding, dignity and
respect, to guide classroom discussion and to set reasonable limits on the manner in which
students express opinions. See policies at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/classbehavior.html
and at
Policy on Sexual Harassment
The University of Colorado Policy on Sexual Harassment applies to all students, staff and faculty.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual attention. It can involve intimidation, threats, coercion,
or promises or create an environment that is hostile or offensive. Harassment may occur between
members of the same or opposite gender and between any combination of members in the
campus community: students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Harassment can occur anywhere
on campus, including the classroom, the workplace, or a residence hall. Any student, staff or
faculty member who believes s/he has been sexually harassed should contact the Office of
Sexual Harassment (OSH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550.
Information about the OSH and the campus resources available to assist individuals who believe
they have been sexually harassed can be obtained at:
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