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International Trade

Code: 102475 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2501573 Economics OT 3 2
2501573 Economics OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Ricard Esparza Masana

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


UAB courses (for UAB students): Mathematics I, Mathematics II, Microeconomics I, Microeconomics II

General (for exchange students): courses on intermediate microeconomics and knowledge of basic mathematic tools for economic analysis (algebra and calculus)

Objectives and Contextualisation

1. Develop the concept of comparative advantage as a key aspect for commerce.

2. Understand the role of the endowment of factors for the development of international trade.

3. Analyse the behaviour of firms regarding the opportunities and challenges that trade presents in a globalised world.

4. Understand the different mechanisms available to governments to regulate international trade.

5. Study the logic of political decisions in terms of international trade and their economic and political impact.


  • Capacity for adapting to changing environments.
  • Demonstrate initiative and work individually when the situation requires it.
  • Demonstrate thorough understanding of concepts related to international trade.
  • Lead multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, implementing new projects and coordinating, negotiating and managing conflicts.
  • Organise the work in terms of good time management, organisation and planning.
  • Take decisions in situations of uncertainty, demonstrating an entrepreneurial and innovative attitude.
  • Use of the available information technology and adaptation to new technological environments.
  • Work well in a team, being able to argue proposals and validate or reject the arguments of others in a reasoned manner.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse the balance, in terms of welfare, of different commercial policies.
  2. Analyse the impact of a change in resources on international trade, and incorporate the relationship between growth and international trade.
  3. Capacity to adapt to changing environments.
  4. Consider the impact of different commercial policies (fees, duties, subsidies, etc.) on international equilibrium.
  5. Convey the diversity of products with imperfect competition and returns to scale.
  6. Demonstrate initiative and work independently when required.
  7. Find trade patterns according to comparative advantages.
  8. Identify comparative advantages.
  9. Lead multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, implement new projects, coordinate, negotiate and manage conflicts.
  10. Make decisions in situations of uncertainty and show an enterprising and innovative spirit.
  11. Organise work, in terms of good time management and organisation and planning.
  12. Recognise the groups of agents that benefit from trade and the groups of agents that are harmed by international trade.
  13. Recognise the role of history and/or foreign economies on trade patterns.
  14. Use available information technology and be able to adapt to new technological settings.
  15. Work as part of a team and be able to argue own proposals and validate or refuse the arguments of others in a reasonable manner.



1. Absolute and comparative advantage. The Ricardian model

2. The specific factors model and the distribution of income

3. Initial endowments and trade. The Heckscher-Ohlin model. The Stolper-Samuelson model

4. Firms’ behaviour in front of international trade


5. Tariffs and other instruments of international trade

6. International trade policies


Combination of both theoretial and practical approaches, including: theoretical lectures, supervised study, problem solving, preparation of individual and group activities and presentations, and office hours follow-up.

Teaching will be offered on campus or in an on-campus and remote hybrid format depending on the number of students per group and the size of the rooms at 50% capacity.

The proposed teaching methodology may undergo some modifications according to the restrictions imposed by the health authorities on on-campus courses.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Classes with the main instructor 30 1.2 1, 2, 8, 4, 13, 12, 7, 5
Problem sets and other activities 19.5 0.78 1, 2, 3, 8, 6, 9, 11, 4, 10, 13, 12, 15, 7, 14, 5
Type: Supervised      
Office hours 2.5 0.1 1, 2, 3, 8, 6, 9, 11, 4, 10, 13, 12, 15, 7, 14, 5
Type: Autonomous      
Problem solving and preparation of activities 30 1.2 1, 2, 3, 8, 6, 9, 11, 4, 10, 13, 12, 15, 7, 14, 5
Study 53 2.12 1, 2, 8, 6, 11, 4, 13, 12, 7, 14, 5


The course evaluation will consist in several evaluative activities. These activities and their share on the final grade are:

25% mid-term exam 1 + 25% mid-term exam 2 + 20% group activities + 30% individual activities

To pass the course, a 4/10 grade is required on both mid-term exams. Those students with a grade below to 3 in one of both mid-term exams will not pass the course. Those with a grade between 3 and 3.9 in one or both mid-term exams will be able to take a final exam which will be worth 50% of the grade (invalidating the grades from both mid-term exams). Students with 4 or better grade can also optionally take this exam if they wish to improve their mark. This exam will include all the course's topics in all cases (i.e. students cannot solve, for instance, just the questions on the part they did not reach a 3/10).

If applying the above mentioned weights the qualification of the student is 5/10 or higher, the course is considered passed and this will not be subject to a new evaluation. In the case of a grade less than 3.5/10, the student will not pass the course. For those students who have obtained a grade that is equal to or greater than 3.5/10 and less than 5/10, there will be a re-take exam. The re-take exam grade will be qualitative and will only have two possible outputs: PASS or NO PASS. If the student obtains a PASS grade, they will pass the course with a maximum numerical grade equal to 5/10. If the student gets a NO PASS score, the final grade will be equal to the one obtained before the re-take.

A student is considered to be "Not Evaluated" in the subject if he/she has not participated in any of the course activities. Therefore, if a student attends one or more activities of the evaluation, he/she can no longer opt for a "Not Evaluated".

Those students who take the course for the second, third or fourth time have the option to follow the continuous evaluation (see weights above) or to just solve the final exam, in which case the exam's result willbe the final grade (100% of the evaluation).

Calendar of evaluation activities

The dates of the evaluation activities (midterm exams, exercises in the classroom, assignments, ...) will be announced well in advance during the semester. Only exams can be rescheduled (see the rules before); other evaluation activities (which represent a minor share of the final grade) will not be rescheduled under any circumstances.

The date of the final exam is scheduled in the assessment calendar of the Faculty.

"The dates of evaluation activities cannot be modified, unless there is an exceptional and duly justified reason why an evaluation activity cannot be carried out. In this case, the degree coordinator will contact both the teaching staff and the affected student, and a new date will be scheduled within the same academic period to make up for the missed evaluation activity." Section 1 of Article 115. Calendar of evaluation activities (Academic Regulations UAB). Students of the Faculty of Economics and Business, who in accordance with the previous paragraph need to change an evaluation activity date must process the request by filling out an Application for exams' reschedule


Grade revision process

After all grading activities have ended, students will be informed of the date and way in which the course grades will be published. Students will be also be informed of the procedure, place, date and time of grade revision following University regulations.

Retake Process

"To be eligible to participatein the retake process, it is required for students to have been previously been evaluated for at least two thirds of the total evaluation activities of the subject." Section 3 of Article 112 ter. The recovery (UAB Academic Regulations). Additionally, it is required that the student to have achieved an average grade of the subject between 3.5 and 4.9.

The date of the retake exam will be posted in thecalendar of evaluation activities of the Faculty. Students who takethis exam and pass, will get a grade of 5 for the subject. If the student does not pass the retake, the grade will remain unchanged, and hence, student will fail the course.

Irregularities in evaluation activities

In spite of other disciplinary measures deemed appropriate, and in accordance with current academic regulations, "in the case that the student makes any irregularity that could lead to a significant variation in the grade of an evaluation activity, it will be graded with a 0, regardless of the disciplinary process that can be instructed. In case of various irregularities occur in the evaluation of the same subject, the final grade of this subject will be 0"Section 10 of Article 116. Results of the evaluation. (UAB Academic Regulations).

NOTE related to the situation regarding COVID-19: The proposed evaluation activities may undergo some changes according to the restrictions imposed by the health authorities on on-campus courses.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Exams 50% 5 0.2 1, 2, 8, 4, 13, 12, 7, 5
Other evaluation activities 50% 10 0.4 1, 2, 3, 8, 6, 9, 11, 4, 10, 13, 12, 15, 7, 14, 5


Main texts:

International economics: Theory and policy
Krugman, Obstfeld and Melitz
Pearson, 2018 (11th ed.)

Advanced International: Trade Theory and Evidence. 
Robert C. Feenstra, 
Princeton University Press, (2nd Edition)