LOJK10239U  Thematic Course: Trade and International Cooperation

Volume 2013/2014
MSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
This course primarily covers the following topics. First, models seeking to explain the causes, patterns and consequences of international trade are presented. These include the Ricardian model, the HO model, the Specific Factors model and several new trade models featuring increasing returns and imperfect competition. Second, the theory of international trade policy, mainly the analysis of trade policy instruments under perfect and imperfect competitions, is introduced. Third, the institutions (such as the WTO and its various trade agreements) and the theory of international trade policy coordination are discussed. Last, we turn to topics specific to agricultural trade, agricultural trade policy, and coordinated reforms in agricultural trade policy at the regional, plural and multilateral levels.
Learning Outcome
The objectives of this course are two folds. First, in-depth theoretical analysis of international trade, international trade policy, and international trade agreements will be provided. Second, theoretical knowledge and analytical tools acquired from the course will be applied to the analyses of policy issues in agricultural trade, agricultural trade policy and its reforms, especially those concerted actions under the WTO.

After completing the course the student should be able to:


Describe the causes, patterns, and consequences of international trade according to various classical and new trade models

Identify and reflect on the differences and similarities among the assumptions and theoretical predictions of major trade models

Develop thorough and in-depth understanding of important trade policy instruments (such as tariffs, quotas and subsidies) as well as the theoretical framework underpinning the analysis of these instruments

Summarize the main theoretical literature in the political economy of international trade policy

Show overview of the institutions of international trade policy coordination and the theory behind them

Describe the main policy issues arisen from multilateral agricultural trade negotiations


Compare and contrast different theoretical models of international trade and assess the suitability of these models in explaining observed international trade patterns and other related phenomena

Demonstrate the ability to conduct diagrammatically and algebraically simple partial and general equilibrium analyses of prevalent trade policy instruments

Integrate the insights from theoretical trade models, trade policy analysis and political economy arguments of trade policy, for the purposes of explaining the landscape of protectionism across different countries and industries


Develop coherent, structured and balanced opinions on ongoing debates in international trade, international cooperation, and globalization and be able to communicate these opinions both orally and in writing forms

Apply the theoretical knowledge and analytical skills acquired from the course to carry out and work independently on research projects concerning concrete trade policy issues; be able to develop the necessary theoretical arguments, collect useful empirical evidence, and conduct the analysis and report the research results in writing forms
Textbook: Advanced International Trade: theory and evidence, by Robert Feenstra, Princeton University Press 2004 (most chapters).

Various reference books and other reading materials from academic journals, books, and other sources are to be announced at the begininig of the teaching period.
Optional Prerequisites include Microeconomics, International Economics, Public Economics and Policy Analysis, and knowledge of basic calculus and matrix algebra. Interested students who do not have the above background are advised to consult with the course coordinator.
The course is a thematic course encompassing two blocks. In the first block, students are expected to take part in a whole range of classroom activities, including lectures, presentations, discussions, and exercises. They are also required to work on homework assignements outside regular classroom meetings. In the second block, students are expected to choose a topic that is relevant to the theme of the course and carry out individually a research project on that topic. Students are asked to apply the knowledge and analytical tools they have learned from block 1 to the analysis of their research questions. The project report will be used as the basis for the oral examination.
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
Description of Examination: There are four elements in the assessment: 1) COURSEWORK consisting of at least two individual exercises/homework assignments, and one presentation during blok 1; 2)WRITTEN EXAM of three hours at the end of blok 1; 3)assessment of PROJECT REPORT; 4) ORAL EXAM based on the project report at the end of blok 2 - no preparation.

Weight: 15% from COURSEWORK during blok 1; 35% from the WRITTEN EXAM at the end of blok 1; 40% from the project report and 10% from the report-based ORAL EXAM at the end of blok 2.
Exam registration requirements
having fulfilled a substantial amount of the required courseowrk
Written aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
Criteria for exam assesment
In coursework and written exam, the assessment will be conducted by focusing on the learning outcomes regarding knowledge and skills, as explained in details in the section Learning Outcome.

In the oral exam based on the project report, the assessment will have a particular emphasis on students' competency, as specified in the section Learning Outcome.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 138
  • Exam
  • 5
  • Colloquia
  • 10
  • Project work
  • 171
  • Guidance
  • 18
  • Total
  • 412