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ECON 314 International and Comparative Economics

This course analyzes selected issues and problems in international trade and also studies how various countries approach basic economic policy questions. Topics include: the theory of comparative advantage, barriers to trade such as tariffs and quotas, exchange rates, balance of payments, organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization, and an analysis of current issues in American trade policy. The course concludes with an analysis of the economic policies of major trading partners: Japan, China and the European Union with some attention to other capitalist and non-capitalist economies.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 1, 1998 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Understand the concepts of absolute advantage and comparative advantage.
  • Apply economic principles to real-world international trade issues.
  • Argue for and against liberalizing trade.
  • Argue for and against tariffs and quotas.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the current and past trade conflicts between developing and industrial nations.
  • Evaluate the costs of protectionism.
  • Explain the factors influencing the balance of payments.
  • Understand the World Trade Organizations (WTO, IMF, European Union, etc.) and international trade agreements (NAFTA, EU, etc.).
  • Understand the economic impact of the globalization of economic activity.
  • Understand the factors that determine exchange rates.
  • Understand the mechanics of exchange-rate determination.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 8: Global Perspective

  • Describe and analyze political, economic, and cultural elements which influence relations of states and societies in their historical and contemporary dimensions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, social, religious and linguistic differences.
  • Analyze specific international problems, illustrating the cultural, economic, and political differences that affect their solution.
  • Understand the role of a world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.

Summer 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 International and Comparative Economics Halvorson, Jon P Books for ECON-314-50 Summer 2024 Course details for ECON-314-50 Summer 2024