ECS5921 - Introduction to international economics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Business and Economics

Organisational Unit

Department of Economics


Dr Kwame Osei-Assibey

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Term 1 2017 (On-campus block of classes)
  • Term 3 2017 (On-campus block of classes)


The unit introduces basic micro and macroeconomic principles and concepts. It discusses economic interdependence notions and gains from trade and globalisation with application to South Africa and the African continent; the role of institutions in promoting and facilitating these concepts in the international economy; theories of trade, incorporating notions of absolute and comparative advantage; modern trade theory and its extensions; empirical evidence with respect to Africa which highlight trade theory strengths and limitations; investigation and analysis of welfare effects of trade, using both theory and evidence to answer contentious concerns whether trade make the poor even poorer; whether trade restrictions necessary to protect jobs; and whether larger trade benefits accrue to developed countries more than developing countries; as well as regional integration in Africa.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. introduce basic economic principles, concepts and ideas
  2. identify and understand the theoretical foundations of why economies engage in trade
  3. critically analyse issues, concerns and developments in the international economy and be able to interpret their impacts on the South African and other African economies.


Within semester assessment: 40% + Examination: 60%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


ECF9210, ECF5921, ECM5921, ECW5921, ECX9210