NIFK14023U Advanced International Trade I

Volume 2014/2015
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

This course provides rigorous theoretical analysis of international trade, trade policy, and trade agreements. Theoretical knowledge and analytical tools developed in the course are then used to analyze real life policy issues, especially in the areas of agricultural trade, trade policy reforms, and 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 it

Describe the main policy issues arising 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 analyze relevant policy issues, esp. in the areas of agriculture trade, the WTO trade negotiations, and issues concerning developing countries and economic development

Textbook: Advanced International Trade: theory and evidence, by Robert Feenstra, Princeton University Press 2004 (most chapters).

Reference books and other reading materials from academic journals, books, and other sources are to be announced at the beginning of the teaching period.

Optional Prerequisites include Microeconomics, International Economics, Welfare Economics and Policy Analysis, and knowledge of basic calculus and matrix algebra. Intereseted students who do not have the above background are advised to consult the course coordinator.
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.
Students interested in contemporary topics in applied international trade, especially international agricultural trade and applied trade policy analysis are strongly encouraged to also take the sequel to this course, entitled "Advanced International Trade II", to be taught in block 2.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 15
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Lectures
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 102
  • Theory exercises
  • 30
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
Description of Examination: in order to register for the exam, students need to fulfill a substantial amount of the coursework requirements, including exercises/homework assignments and presentation(s); The WRITTEN EXAM will last three hours.

Weight: 100% from WRITTEN EXAM.
Exam registration requirements
Having fulfilled a substantial amount of the coursework requirements.
Written aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
one internal examiner
If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
Criteria for exam assesment

The assessment will be conducted according to the learning outcomes specified in the section Learning outcome.