The study of interrelations between international politics and economics. Addresses the Bretton Woods institutions, differing political conceptions of international economic relations, trade, trade restrictions, trade agreements, global financial flows, migration, and exchange rates. Methods emphasize institutional analysis, historical analysis, accounting frameworks, and formal economic models.
Political systems, Trade and trade policy, Balance of payments, exchange rates.
Student learning goals
An understanding of the way differing economic interests work through different national political systems.
An understanding of the roles of the Bretton Woods institutions: the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade organization.
A grasp of the basic analytics of trade, trade policy, and exchange rates.
The ability to use national income accounting data and balance of payments data.
Research capacities on questions relating to the international economy.
General method of instruction
We will use short lectures, handouts, exercises, and small-group work on problems to make sure everyone masters fundamental concepts like comparative advantage and the balance of payments. Exams will include definitions, problems, and short essays.
Most importantly, you will learn by doing your own research. Each participant will be assigned a country and will carry out a series of research tasks on that country over the quarter, producing two research memoranda. In structured exercises in class, you will compare the results or your research with the results of other participants, gaining a comparative and integrative understanding of the larger world. This will give you experience working with real-world data and applying the ideas learned in the course. You will leave the course not just with theoretical knowledge, but with practice in investigating specific questions related to the international economy, and communicating the results of your work.
There are no prerequisites. In particular, no previous instruction in economics is assumed, and we will learn basic market analytics in the first few weeks. The mathematics used in the basic analytics is almost all geometrical. Students should be comfortable using and making graphs, and know the basics of analytic geometry. Research will also involve a lot of work with numerical data.
Class assignments and grading
Completing question sets and worksheets on time: 10%
Participation and in-class worksheets: 10%
Three exams: 45%
Research Memos: 35%
Question sets and worksheets receive full credit if they represent a reasonable effort to answer all the questions – the answers don’t have to be right to get full credit. Participation will be assessed mainly on the basis of your work in several in-class group sessions. Exams and memos are assessed on the basis of quality of work.