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Online Courses

EC340 Economics 340:  Survey of International Economics

Hourly compensation for the average U.S. manufacturing employee was $33.53 in 2009.  In that same year, hourly compensation for the average Chinese worker employed in manufacturing was $1.74, yet the United States managed to export more than 50 billion dollars worth of manufactured goods to China.   How is that possible?  Similarly, in 2009, U.S. imports from all countries exceeded exports to all destinations by more than $350 billion, but the value of American aircraft exports was more than four times the value of aircraft imports.  What determines a country’s overall trade balance, and how is it possible for high-wage countries to compete in the world market?  Does competition in the world marketplace benefit all participants, or does it create winners and losers?  How can we quantify the gains and losses associated with globalization?  What determines the value of a country’s currency, and what does it mean for that currency to be overvalued or undervalued?  How does opening an economy to international financial flows affect the macro economy and impinge on the ability of policy makers to keep the economy on an even keel?

These questions and others are at the heart of international economics.  This survey course addresses many of these issues.  This is a technical course that intensively uses concepts of supply and demand, equilibrium, competition, and national income determination.  The on-line version delivers the same material as one would find in a conventional face-to-face class.  Most of the material is presented in “lecture” style, with animated flash videos that are narrated by the professor.  Each video is relatively short, most lasting 10 minutes or less, making it conducive to undertaking the work in small bits.  In addition, the course includes a variety of web-based resources, including video clips from television shows and films that are used to illustrate particular points.

Exam Policy

All exams will be administered via D2L using a lockdown browser and remote proctoring service. Students must have access to a webcam and microphone. The system is compatible with Windows (10, 8, 7), Mac (MacOS 10.15 to 10.12, OS X 10.11, OSX 10.10), and iPad (iOS 11.0+). The system is not compatible with Chromebooks. Alternate arrangements must be approved by the instructor within the first week of the course.


Michigan State University Department of Economics