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ECON 205 -N990 International Economics

International Economics (ECON 205) provides the student with the foundations of the theory and practice of international trade and finance needed to understand the nature and consequences of linking the domestic economy and the rest of the world economy. Topics covered include: introduction to classical and modern international theories of trade; analysis of the economic effects of commercial policies like tariffs and quotas; economics of customs unions; balance of payments, spot and forward foreign exchange markets and exchange rate systems; balance of payments problems and the adjustment mechanisms; flexible and fixed exchange rate systems; and international monetary systems.

This course is a Social Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Business elective.


PrerequisitesECON 101
InstructorYoseph Gutema
OfficeST Buildig 159
Phone(443) 518-4436

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to demonstrate the following core competencies or learning objectives:

1.      Describe and explain the trend of U.S. international trade and investments since World War II. 

2.      Define globalization and identify the forces that are driving it.

3.      Identify the trading ideas of the mercantilists, Adam Smith and David Ricardo.

4.      Distinguish the principles of absolute advantage and comparative advantage.

5.      State and explain the Heckscher-Ohlin theory or the factor endowment theory of trade.

6.      Explain why a country may manufacture and export a good (automobiles) and import a similar good from abroad (automobile).

7.      Distinguish interindustry and intraindustry trade.

8.      Explain how a tariff affects the welfare of an importing nation using consumer surplus, producer surplus and total surplus.

9.       List the major arguments for restricting international trade and carefully evaluate them.

10.   Identify and describe the major non-tariff trade barriers.

11.   Identify and describe the trade-remedy laws of the U.S.

12.   Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of industrial policy.

13.   Discuss the current account and the capital account of the balance of payments.

14.  Describe how exchange rates are determined.

15.   Identify the long-run determinants of exchange rates and the short run determinants of exchange rates.

16.   Discuss the adjustment mechanism under a system of fixed exchange rates.

17.  Describe the monetary approach to the balance of payments.

18.   Discuss how currency depreciation (devaluation) affects a nation's trade position.

19.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a fixed exchange rates system and a floating exchange rate system.

20.  Identify the tools of international economic policy.


Grading will be based on weekly online chapter quizzes, three tests to be taken at the HCC Test Center, weekly online discussions on trade or finance issues, and a research paper.   Each test will consist of multiple-choice tests, graphs and short-essay questions and covers about 5 chapters. There will be a weekly online chapter quiz covering a chapter. There will be a weekly discussion on a selected trade or finance topic. Participation in the weekly online discussion is mandatory. You participate by posting to the discussion within a specified time period, usually one week. The research paper investigates a problem of interest to the student in the area of international economics. Get my approval before you proceed with your paper.

The weight attached to each work is as follows:







Online discussion




Major Topics

  1. Introduction to International Economics
  2. U.S. International Trade and Finance
  3. Classical Trade Theory
  4. Modern Trade Theory
  5. Recent Contributions to Modern Trade Theory
  6. Tariffs
  7. Non-tariff barriers
  8. Industrial policies
  9. Regional Trade blocks
  10. Balance of Payments Accounting and Accounts
  11. Exchange Rate determination
  12. Balance of payments adjustments
  13. Exchange rate systems
  14. Macroeconomics policy in and open economy 

Course Format

This course:

  • Is not self-paced
  • Does not require on campus meetings except for the three proctored tests at the HCC Test Center for students in the local area and at a regional testing institution for remote students.
  • Does require active participation in the weekly online discussion.
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • Does require completing weekly chapter quizzes.  
  • Course will be conducted via access to the Internet using online reading and viewing materials, online discussion, online practice problems, online review questions, email communications.


The course does not have face-to-face orientation.  I have prepared a detailed mesage to help you navigate the course.  Two days before the beginnings of HCC classes, log on to the course homepage and read the header announcement that I have on the course homepage.  Also read the announcements and email message that I have for you.  If you have questions, send me email,  I try to respond within 24 hours.

Course Requirements

  • Review the “Is Distance Learning for you” on the Distance Learning Homepage before you register for an online class.
  • Three proctor tests for which you need to go to the HCC Test Center
  • Completion of weekly quizzes
  • Completion of an eight-page paper on an international economic issue
  • Active participation in the weekly discussion

Texts and Materials

To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

Review the Technical Requirements link above. Use the Plug-Ins link above to download and install the following plug-ins which are required for this course:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Netscape
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don't have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don't have the full version of Microsoft Word


For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course has 3 proctored tests at the HCC Test Center for students who live in the local area and at the nearest testing center for students who live outside the area. Each test will have a flexible window of one week in which to take the test. This flexibility is built in to accommodate the various needs and responsibilities of online students.


If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to Yoseph Gutema at

Student Profile - Maribel