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Department and Course #: ECON 320


Academic Term: SUMMER 2009

Class Time: TUESDAY AND THURSDAY, 5:45p-8:00p

Academic Division: SOCIAL SCIENCES

Instructor: TOM SCHENK

Telephone Number: 515-281-3753



1. Demostrate abilities to conduct research to access relevant information and then communicate the
results of the research to others in written and oral format.
2. Demonstrate abilities to work in a team environment, as a leader and as a follower, to generate solutions
to specific situations.
3. Develop skills in analyzing business situations and recommend courses of action that show a thorough
understanding of the internal and external envorments.
*Learning as Knowledge
The student will:
1. Identify the definition(s) of political theory, economics, international trade
2. Identify the basic principles of the law of supply, law of demand, and market equilibrium.
3. Identify and understand the principles of unemployment, interest rates, fiscal, and
monetary policy.
4. Understand the economy as a system.

*Learning as Process or Behavior

The student will:
1. Relate political economy systems to the U.S. and other economies.
2. Study how the market system allocates products and services to consumers.
3. Apply economic theory in real-world applications
4. Learn how policy affects all the elements of the economy.
*Learning as Attitude
The student will:
1. Appreciate the basic underlying dilemma of economics.
2. Develop an awareness of how economics impacts their daily lives.
3. Appreciate the complex interactions in an economy.

• Elements of international trade: political economy, culture, political science, economics.
• Institutions in international trade
• Political philosophy
• Trade-offs and opportunity cost
• Comparative advantage
• Foreign Direct Investment
• Monetary institutions in international trade
• Regional trade agreements


Instructional procedures for this course will include lectures, class discussions, “company” (group) exercises,
case analysis, and individual assignments. Students will successfully pass the class if they aforementioned

1. Textbook: Economics by David Colander, 7th Edition, McGraw-Hill, Irwin: 2006

ISBN: 0-07-340286-9
2. Periodicals: The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Des Moines Register, New York
3. Blogs: Grew Makiw, Marginal Revolution, Free Exchange, Dani Rodrik’s Weblog,
Growth Commission Blog
4. Other readings will be distributed online and in-class.


Y = 0.3 • M + 0.3 • F + 0.3 • R + 0.1 • P

Y = total score;
M = Midterm
F = Final
R = Research Project
P = Participation

Exams: One exam will be administered. The exam will consist of a multiple choice, argument, and long
problems. Multiple choice questions will test basic economic vocabulary and elementary relationships.
Argument questions will ask the student to reply to a normative statement using economic reasoning taught in
class. I may use quotes from recent periodicals and/or blog posts. Finally, long problems will be multi-part and
will test whether the student can work through an economic model. Each exam will implicitly be cumulative
insofar as the principles of economics are tightly intertwined, but the emphasis will be on the contemporary

Final: The final will explicitly be cumulative, although the emphasis will be slightly more on the latter half of
the class. The format will be similar to exams: multiple choice, essay, and long problems. The test is worth
slightly more and, thus, will be slightly longer than exams.

Research Project: Students will participate in a 2 to 3 member group project that will be completed in four
stages with a culmination up to a final presentation. Each group will choose a country to research and write on
the country’s political, culture, and economic system. A defined portion of the paper will be due approximately
every two weeks. Details of the assignment will be provided in another document.

Participation: As an advanced class, this course depends on dialog between the instructor and professor.
Students will be expected to participate in each class.

Final Grade: Letter grades will be assigned as follows:

A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
F = < 60%


Project milestones will be due at the beginning of the day. Tests will be given on the days denoted below. Late
assignments will be penalized 40 percent. Students must notify the professor of an upcoming absence. Students
will be allowed to make up exams ONLY when the professor received prior notification for the inability to
complete the exams. In extreme cases where prior notification is impossible, the student must provide written
documentation—not by the student—explaining the absence. Students who miss a test for an unexcused absence
will receive a zero.

Students will be expected to attend every class. Irregular attendance will be reflected in participation score.


Modern economics is intensely mathematics, but few people possess the training to grasp a mathematical model.
As such, economics is typically communicated in written periodicals so it is no coincidence that well-known
economists tend to be good writers—e.g., Paul Krugman, Herny James, John Gailbraith, and Milton Friedman.
Employers often lament and seek those with sharp writing ability. Although writing ability is hard to notice
during an application procedure, employers will often quickly promote those who effectively communicate.

This class will challenge student to reply to assertions during an examination. Students will need to synthesize
economic theory and writing to convince the professor the original argument was either fallacious or correct.
This experience will be different from writing an essay or research paper. Argument portions of the exam will
give the student little room to wonder or “add fluff”.


Economics is truly an interdisciplinary subject involving political theory, moral philosophy, mathematics, and
elements of all social sciences. This course will be based around the cold logical and mathematical aspects often
satirized in TV and movies. However, this class will also overtly emphasis applications of economic theory and
briefly highlight the moral philosophy and political philosophy elements.

All readings listed below are mandatory. Readings should be completed prior to the scheduled class. These
readings will delve into political theory, philosophy, and other classical writings that will add to the student’s
comprehensive knowledge. Students will not be tested over the material and absolutely should complete other
assignments first. I hope this syllabus will be a resource for the student after the class has been completed.

The required textbook for this class will be Global Business Today, Charles W.L. Hill, Sixth Edition, 2009
(ISBN: 978-0-07-338139-8)

05 May: Introduction to Globalization

Hill – Chp. 1
Institutions in International Trade
Stiglitz, Joseph. Globalization and its Discontents – Chapter 1, The Promise of Global Institutions

07 May: Political Economy and the Law

Hill – Chp. 2
Sen, Amartya, Development as Freedom – Chapter 2, The Ends and the Means of Development
Political philosophies:

12 May: Culture & Society

Hill – Chp. 3
Sen – Chapter 10, Culture and Human Rights

14 May: Ethnics and Social Justice

Hill – Chp. 4
Sen – Chapter 3, Freedom and the Foundations of Justice

19 May: PHASE 1 DUE

International Trade Theory
Hill – Chp. 5

21 May: Political Economy of Trade

Hill – Chp. 6
Stiglitz – Chapter 2, Broken Promises

26 May: Foreign Direct Investment
Hill – Chp. 7
Regional Trade Agreements
Hill – Chp. 8

28 May: PHASE 2 DUE

Foreign Exchange
Hill – Chp. 9


04 Jun: Monetary Systems

Hill – Chp. 10

09 Jun: PHASE 3 DUE

Pricing Strategies
Hill – Chp. 15

11 Jun: TBA

16 Jun: PHASE 4 DUE



25 Jun: FINAL

Revised: 4/13/04, 6/24/05, 8/01/06, 12/21/06, 6/04/07



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