This course combines both international trade and finance, using graphical presentation of economic models to analyze trade policies and international financial arrangements. The primary topics of international trade are how countries gain from trade, the political economy of trade restrictions, international organizations and agreements that govern trade (World Trade Organization, NAFTA), and the interactions between trade and economic growth. International finance involves the determination of exchange rates (with and without government intervention), alternative global monetary arrangements, problems of sovereign debt, and international financial crises. The countries and regions of the voyage provide rich examples of these topics: former communist economies demonstrate the economic costs of trade restrictions (Russia); developing countries (Ghana, South Africa) provide examples of the use of trade policies to promote economic growth; several ports are home to important free trade areas (Argentina and Brazil; the European Union); Argentina offers a fascinating case study of sovereign debt problems; the euro area illustrates the pros and cons of monetary union; and any of the countries visited on the voyage provide a laboratory for understanding exchange rate policies.
Field WorkCountry: Belgium
Day: 1 - Antwerp - Thursday, 12 September
The field lab will begin with a guided visit of the chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels. We will hear from an information officer about the role and work of the European Parliament and a visit to Parliament's plenary chamber. Schedules permitting, we will meet with a member of Parliament or the staff for an in depth discussion of EU affairs. Following the tour and meeting, we will visit the Parlamentarium, the European Parliament's Visitors' Centre, featuring exhibits on European integration. Academic Objectives: 1. To understand the structure and mission of the European Parliament and its relation to other EU centers of power 2. To learn about the political economy of the EU system and how the European Parliament collaborates with other EU organizations in forming economic policies. 3. To understand the role of the European Parliament in dealing with the euro crisis and in current moves towards fiscal union.