T GEOG 349: Geography of International Trade
Contents of this syllabus:
This content of this course can be expressed as a matrix of theory, policy, practice, and effects of international trade and foreign direct investment.
Meetings and readings. The course meets twice a week; each student needs to be at each meeting. (I will not take attendance, but we'll have frequent in-class exercises). Read the assigned material before the class; we will discuss and at times have in-class exercises to reinforce the assigned readings.The assigned readings are listed in full below, and are referenced in the Schedule. To check library reserves online, go to http://www.tacoma.weashington.edu/library/reserves/. (You can also find this by going from the UW homepage to "Libraries" to "Electronic Reserves".) Several of the articles below are available online through the UW Libraries links to electronic journals. (You have to log into the Libraries website using your UWNetID.)
Papers. There are two short research-paper assignments to help students toward the learning objectives. Select one country (not the US) for both papers. You'll want to make use of the information resources compiled by the UWT Library, and the instructor's guide to formatting papers and useful links. We will discuss your progress and problems with your papers in small groups in class -- it's fine to seek help in approaching your topic or finding data. However, the work you turn in must be your own work and your own words: more than three words from any source besides your head must be put in quotes, to avoid concerns over plagiarism.
Use data sources available through UW Libraries, and at least five good references for each paper (for example, if you start your investigation with Wikipedia, go further -- read and use the sources cited, rather than the Wikipedia entry). Limit your final versions to 1500 words each, plus tables (which should be created for the paper, rather than copied from large published tables).
First paper. Identify your country's largest trade partners, export sectors, and import sectors for as recent a year as possible. Given the relative factor intensities (refer to Kowalski 2011) of your country's exports and imports, what seem your country's sources of comparative advantage. Describe your country's trade policies: are key exports promoted by national policies (subsidies, R&D, trade agreements)? Are key sectors protected from foreign imports? See the linked grading rubric for this paper.
Second paper. Identify one important export from the US to your country. This could be a finished product, a service, or an input (such as the US cotton exported to China to make yarn and T-shirts -- but don't use this example, since much of our class reading and viewing focuses on it). Where in the US is this export likely produced? What comparative advantage and/or public subsidy allows the US to successfully export this item? How is this item marketed internationally? How do US Federal or State governments promote the development, production, or export of this product or service? See the linked grading rubric for this paper.
eight 500-word responses to questions that I will
provide to guide your reading of assigned articles (see
the schedule of topics and assignments, below).
These are due at the beginning of the relevant class
meeting, during which we will discuss the responses in
Grades on tests and assignments. Each test and assignment will be graded on a percentage basis. Content, clarity, writing, and format all count in the grading of the assignments. Be especially careful about plagiarism: more than three words in the order you read them somewhere else (including on the WWW, including my own lecture notes) must be set off in quotation marks and given a full citation.
Tests must be taken on the scheduled day, except by
prior arrangement with the instructor or ex post
written communication with the instructor based on
illness (in this latter circumstance, the instructor
will need documentation of your illness or that of
someone in your care; this will be handled on a
case-by-case basis). Other assignments are due at
the beginning of the specified class period; 20%
of the assignment's value will be deduced for material
submitted after the specified class but by the following
class period; 50% of the assignment's value will
be deducted for material submitted later than this,
until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday 19 March.
Final grades. The
final grade for the course will be calculated as
follows. Each graded item can contribute up to a
specified number of points toward the quarter's total
that can equal up to 100 points. Each student’s
final grade reflects the number of these 100 points the
student has earned during the quarter.
Incomplete work. [From the University Registrar's website] A grade of “I” (Incomplete) is given only when the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work until within two weeks of the end of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control. To obtain credit for the course, an undergraduate student must convert an Incomplete into a passing grade no later than the last day of the next quarter. The student should never re-register for the course as a means of removing the Incomplete. An Incomplete grade not made up by the end of the next quarter is converted to the grade of 0.0 by the Registrar unless the instructor has indicated, when assigning the Incomplete grade, that a grade other than 0.0 should be recorded if the incomplete work is not completed. The original Incomplete grade is not removed from the permanent record.
copyright James W. Harrington, Jr.
revised 8 March 2014