GRA 6649 International Economics

GRA 6649 International Economics

Course code: 
GRA 6649
Course coordinator: 
Per Botolf Maurseth
Course name in Norwegian: 
International Economics
Product category: 
MSc in Applied Economics
2023 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course has been cancelled autumn 2023.

This course offers an advanced introduction to the major theories of international trade, thereby providing critical insight in the functioning of our globalized economy and the breeding grounds for resentment against this globalization. Specifically, these major trade theories enhance our understanding of first, the aggregate and distributional consequences of international trade. Second, they shed light on the interplay between firm dynamics and international trade: the role firms play in shaping outcomes of international trade, and how trade affects the distribution of economic activity across firms.   

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After taking this course, students should:

  • know why trade integration leads to aggregate economic gains that are unevenly distributed across different groups in society. To this end, they should be able to work with advanced modelling tools to analyze the role of comparative advantage in shaping world trade, as well as the role of factor demand in driving distributional effects of trade.
  • be able to analyze the interplay between firm dynamics, firm productivity, and international trade gives rise to gains from trade, employing the insights from new trade theory.
  • be able to analyze the impact of trade policy on different agents in the economy.
  • for all above aspects of the course, understand the empirical validity and limitations of the models’ theoretical predictions.
Learning outcomes - Skills

Students will acquire skills that enable them to analyze international trade patterns. They will gain the ability to understand why countries trade, with whom countries trade and what countries trade. Students will also acquire skills to analyze the gains from trade.

Students will acquire analytical tools to understand why some firms engage in trade while other firms, even in the same industry, abstain from international trading activities.

The course enables students to analyze international investments and students will learn how to understand how international investments sometimes substitute for trade and sometimes supplement trade.

The course enables students to analyze income distribution consequences of trade. Some groups gain from trade while other groups lose from trade. Some types of trade have larger consequences for countries' internal income distributions than others. Students will acquire skills to analyze when and how increased trade impact on countries' income distribution.

The course is business relevant. Students acquire skills to analyze opportunities as well as challenges in international markets.

General Competence

Students acquire skills to reflect on international trade, trade policy and the impact of international investments. Does trade liberalization increase countries' incomes? What are the consequences of trade for consumers? How can we understand the growth of multinational enterprises?

This prepares students for more academic work. The course gives an introduction to advanced international trade theory.

The course also enables students to reflect on policy debates, such as the effects of trade liberalization, protectionism, and free trade agreements between countries.

The course enables students to reflect on strategies for internationalization and international competition.

Course content

Main topics are

  • comparative advantage and gains from trade
  • new trade theory based on monopolistic competition and increasing returns to scale
  • firm in international trade
  • international trade, factor mobility and foreign direct investments
  • international trade and growth
Teaching and learning activities

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

GRA 6031 Microeconomics or equvialent

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Written examination under supervision
Exam code: 
GRA 66491
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.