International Trade and Globalisation

ECN434 International Trade and Globalisation

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    This course focuses on international trade, globalisation and economic integration both in terms of long-term trends and in terms of current policy issues. In doing so, it relates to a number of highly relevant policy questions, such as:

    • How will the present geopolitical situation, with war in Europe, conflicts between the West and Russia, political and economic tensions between the US and China, etc., affect international trade and globalisation?  Will there be a shift towards deglobalisation and more national and regional focus? What will the impact be on the strong reliance on global value chains in many industries?
    • Is globalisation compatible with the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
    • What are the links between globalisation and climate change? And to what extent can trade policies be used to help achieve climate policy goals?
    • What may the effects of the current energy crisis and the need for a transition towards renewable energy sources be for trade and globalisation?
    • What has the role of digitalisation and new technology been in the growth of global value chains?
    • What may the effects of artificial intelligence be for trade and globalisation?
    • How important are trade agreements in shaping international trade and integration?  What is the role of WTO? What about EU and other regional trade and integration agreements? What about Brexit ?
    • What are the causes and the economic implications of international migration?

    These are examples of questions that will be discussed and analysed in this course. Using tools and insights from theoretical and empirical studies will enable students to assess possible responses to such questions. The tools applied include models of international trade in goods and services, foreign direct investments and multinationals, location of firms and production, migration, trade policies, political economy processes and international institutions. The course gives students a solid understanding of long-term trends and driving forces behind global and regional integration, as well as the political economy surrounding such processes. It enables students to discuss and analyse the impact of such trends for firms, markets or industries, and for governments and policy makers.

  • Learning outcome

    The aim of this course is to provide students with insights and tools that help them understand and be able to analyse the impact of international trade and globalisation processes. Such processes are of great importance for any internationally oriented firm or organisation, as well as for countries and governments. A good knowledge of how globalisation and economic integration work and what the impact on firms, markets and individuals may be is thus essential. Furthermore, the ability to understand and assess implications of current political issues and debates regarding trade and globalisation is becoming increasingly important.

    More specifically, the following learning outcomes apply:


    Upon completion of the course, the student will

    • have solid knowledge about international trade, globalisation and economic integration in the world,
    • have solid knowledge about theoretical and empirical analyses related to international trade, globalisation and economic integration.


    Upon completion of the course, the student can

    • analyse the impact of globalisation and integration for specific firms, markets or industries, as well as for governments and policy makers,
    • use insights and tools to understand and assess the impact of current and future trade policy questions.

    General competences

    Upon completion of the course, the student can

    • discuss the economic and political forces influencing international trade, globalisation and integration processes,
    • communicate about globalisation and trade policy issues with both specialist and non-specialists in an international setting,
    • explain how the UN Sustainable Development Goals affect and interact with international trade, globalisation and integration processes.

  • Teaching

    The course consists of lectures, class discussions, group work and student presentations.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Basic micro and macro economics.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    The course overlaps and cannot be combined with INB427.

  • Compulsory Activity

    Students are expected to attend the lectures and contribute actively in class. 

    All students are required to take part in:

    • Group work including presentation in class,
    • Class discussions on various topics,
    • Attending and commenting on other groups’ presentations.

  • Assessment

    The assessment will be based (100%) on an individual 5-day home exam. The exam starts on Monday at 09.00 and ends on Friday at 14.00.

    The home exam must be written in Norwegian or English.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F.

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    • Richard Baldwin: The Great Convergence. Information Technology and the New Globalization. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016.
    • Reports and Articles.

    The complete reading list will be announced at course start.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Will be offered spring 2024.

Course responsible

Associate Professor Linda Orvedal, Department of Economics (contact person).

Professor Jan I. Haaland, Department of Economics.

Associate Professor Anna Ignatenko, Department of Economics.