This course is intended as an overview of the theory of international monetary relations, which economists often call international finance or international macroeconomics. It is essential that you have passed your principles courses (ECON 102 and 103), and have a working knowledge of algebra and geometry, for we will learn many of the tools of the economist. Topics covered will include foreign exchange markets and why the Dollar rises and falls, balance of payments accounting and the causes of trade deficits, capital mobility, government fiscal and monetary policies, exchange rate regimes and how they sometimes change how economies behave, models of international macroeconomic cooperation and integration, the role of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, and international macroeconomic crises such as currency collapses.Need a short review? Here are my EC 101 Lecture Notes: Introduction to International Economics.
Graduate Student Requirements:
To receive graduate credit for this course, significant additional work is required. Graduate students must do additional problems on the exams, do the homework, and also write a research paper. The group homework will count for 25% of the grade, the midterm will count for 25% of the grade, the final will count for 25%, and the research paper will count for 25%. Quizzes will not be graded, though graduate students may take them for feedback. Any deviation to these weights must be negotiated with the professor by the beginning of the second week.Past Exams and Quizzes to Study:
Spring 2010: Quiz 1 (with key), Quiz 2 (with key), Midterm Exam (key), Quiz 3 (with key), Quiz 4 (with key), and Final Exam (key)
Any cheating will be severely punished, ranging from failing the exam or assignment at a minimum to failing the course and even expulsion from the university, in egregious cases or in cases where there is evidence of any prior offenses. Students who are caught cheating also lose their chance at college scholarships. Cheating includes both copying someone else's work as well as letting your work be copied, bringing in notes, text messaging or taking pictures of the exam, plagiarizing other people's words or ideas and passing them off as your own, et cetera. I am serious as a heart attack about this.School and Work:
Economics is essentially about making decisions when resources are scarce, and time is often our most scarce resource. Many of you work, but working too much while going to school makes it hard to focus on your studies and succeed in school. The College of Business Administration recommends the following maximum relationship between work and school:
These maximum recommendations work both ways. For example, a student working 10 hours per week should not take more than 15 credits and conversely, a student who is taking 15 credits should not work more than 10 hours per week. Of course, many of you will choose to exceed these maxima, but you should know that unless you have superpowers or take extremely easy courses, you are setting yourself up for lower grades, inadequate sleep, or other trouble. If you do not have scholarships or other means of support, then you might consider taking fewer credits per semester and an extra year or two to graduate.Students with Disabilities:
Any student who qualifies with a disability is to provide his or her instructor with a letter from the Disability Resource Center stating the appropriate accommodations for this course. If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss how these academic accommodations will be implemented for this course, please contact the instructor during the first two weeks of class.
Homework is done in groups of 3-4 students, and each group turns in one complete set. Though work may be divided up, your group is expected to discuss the entire homework together, and you are all responsible for your joint answers. It is unacceptable to not meet at once per homework assignment, or to assemble the homework in a mad scramble at the start of class. It is also foolish, because if you don't understand the homework you will find the exams to be impossible.
Your group's homework is due at the start of the class period on the due date, and late homework will be penalized. Each chapter will receive a separate grade, but it can be turned in together. The homework assignment is expected to be in order, complete, and legible, otherwise your grade will be marked down. It will usually take me a week to return the graded homework.
On the day
your homework set is turned in, you must turn in a confidential
evaluation of your group members rating them for their contribution to
all chapters assigned in the set. "Confidential" means that
show it to your group members and you can't discuss it with
On a piece of paper or an e-mail, put your name first so I know whose
it is, then list the other members of your group. For a
group, give yourself no more than 34% (you may give
and then divide the other 66% between the other two members.
a four-person group, give yourself no more than 25%
(you may give
yourself less), and then divide the other 75% between the other three
to the nearest percentage (no fractions, please), and make sure that
total adds up to 100%, or I may send it back to you
and treat it
as a missing evaluation. For example:
Turn your evaluation in on this paper form, folded over. If you can't make it to class, you may send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Be sure not to send it to the class email list!) I will then sum up the scores to determine your overall evaluation, and your individual grade is the group's grade for each chapter times your overall evaluation for the set. I will report your group grade and each student's overall evaluation score when I return your homework, but not how each student evaluated you. It is not acceptable for students to discuss evaluations in advance, or to try to uncover the evalution given by any individual group member.
It is important that you turn this
in, and you need to identify yourself
on it. If I cannot determine who turned in the evaluation, I
treat it like a missing evaluation. If your evaluation for
is not turned in to me before I grade the homework, I will assign you
and divide the other 90% equally among your partners, and you will be
surprised when you get your grades back. For example:
There are two exceptions: 1) if all but one member of a group turn in evaluations, and they are all consistent, then I will approximate the missing evaluation; 2) if a student drops the course, then I will divide his or her points among the other group members only for homework in which they were depending on him or her. Then I will reduce the group size and/or readjust the groups.
If your group is not satisfied with the results of an evaluation (perhaps because some evaluations were not turned in), then you may be re-evaluated. In order to ensure that such a re-evaluation is a Pareto Improvement, all members of your group must re-submit their evaluations to me in individual e-mails. Once I receive e-mails from all members, I will then notify your group by e-mail if the evaluation has changed.
reserve the right to adjust groups and their evaluations as I see
fit. If I can correct small errors, I will.
The Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA) has a lot of country information on their website, along with a new site for finding jobs in international business.
Want to know exchange rates? Check out this currency converter by OANDA, Inc.
International agencies you might check out include the World Trade Organization Homepage, the United Nations, the Bank for International Settlements, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank. There is also a site with links to foreign embassies.
United States government agencies with good international data include US Customs, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce (see the Bureau of the Census, the International Trade Administration, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics), the International Trade Commission., and the Central Intelligence Agency Factbook (the homepage of the CIA itself is, as you might guess, a secure site.) See also the FedWorld Federal Internet Resource Locator.
Information on international treaties and regulations and be found at:
Search the UNR Library for books or journals. They also have a long list of databases for article citations, abstracts, and statistical information, including a good index of economic journals, especially Econlit from the Journal of Economic Literature, and a lot of other good reference information. Many economics journals now have websites (the library has a different list of online business/economic journals), and you can find an article, read its abstract, and order it if you want the whole thing through interlibrary loan.
If you find any errors or know of any other good international websites, email me!