Economics 340

ECON 340: Global Economy and Business

Credit Hours: (3)

An overview of the global economic environment within which business is practiced and the opportunities and challenges managers face in doing business across national boundaries. A business core requirement. General Education credit – Social and Behavioral Sciences or International and Intercultural Studies.


Detailed Description of Content of the Course

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of today's global economy, business environment, and markets. It is divided into three parts. In the first part, students will be introduced to the state of the world economy and the operation of the global economic system. Students will learn about the process of global economic integration, theories of international trade, the effects of trade policies, regional trading areas, and the operation of the international monetary system. The second part of the course focuses on the international business environment and organizations – world geography, foreign political and legal systems, world cultures, national trade policies, foreign direct investment and multinational corporations. The third part of the course helps students gain knowledge/understanding of and develop competencies/skills to successfully do business in the major regional markets of the world. A primary objective of this course is to help prepare students to assume international business responsibilities in their future careers. Therefore, the managerial implications of the course material for the practice of international business will be explicitly discussed whenever and wherever possible.

This course will be team-taught by qualified economics and business faculty members, and will combine the use of lectures, class discussions, videotapes, guest speakers, and cases.


The Global Economy

Introduction to the World Economy

i. Facts about today’s global economy
ii. Different economic systems
iii. Important international economic institution
iv. Important human and natural resources in the world
v. Global economic integration in historical perspective
vi. International interdependence and competition
vii. Developed countries vs. developing countries.

Economic Theories and Analyses of International Trade

i. The principle of comparative advantage
ii. The causes and consequences of international trade
iii. Supply and demand analyses of exports and imports

International Trade Policy

i. Why nations impose trade restrictions
ii. Types of trade restrictions and their effects
iii. History of U.S. trade policy

  • The political economy of Smoot-Hawley
  • Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act
  • General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
  • The political economy of the new protectionism

iv. Strategic trade policies

Regional Economic Integration

i. The theory of regional economic integration
ii. Levels of regional economic interaction
iii. The European Union

  • Functioning of the EU
  • Brief history and recent developments

iv. The North American Free Trade Agreement

  • Functioning of the EU
  • Brief history and recent developments

Other important regional economic groupings

The Operation of the International Monetary System

i. Overview
ii. The operation of fixed and flexible exchange rates
iii. Interest rates, inflation rates, and exchange rates
iv. International monetary contribution: A survey of current problems and controversies

Global Business Environment

World Geography and Ecological Issues

i. The earth’s surface, continents, climate, and topography
ii. Countries, peoples, natural resources, industries, and technological developments
iii. Economic development and ecological issues

Political, Economic, and Legal Systems in the World

i. Political systems – democracy versus totalitarianism
ii. Legal systems – common law systems vs. civil law systems

  • Property rights
  • The protection of intellectual property
  • Product safety and product liability
  • Contract law
  • Labor law
  • Tax law
  • U.S. law affecting international business

World Cultures

i. Culture’s various dimensions
ii. Cross-cultural literacy and integration
iii. Culture and competitive advantage

National Trade Policies: A Competitive Perspective

i. Goals of national trade and investment policies
ii. Promotion and restrictions of international trade and investment
iii. The U.S. moves from a “free” to a “free and fair” trade policy

Foreign Direct Investment and Multinational Corporations

i. Foreign direct investment
ii. Multinational corporations

  • Multinational corporations in today’s global economy
  • Small companies involved in international business
  • Organization, management, and control of MNCs
  • Global market research
  • Methods of entering international markets

Global Markets

The Americas

i. Unique business environments
ii. Customary business practices
iii. Business implications – opportunities, challenges, and strategies
iv. Cases


i. Unique business environments
ii. Customary business practices
iii. Business implications – opportunities, challenges, and strategies
iv. Cases

Japan, China, the Pacific Rim, and Southern Asia

i. Unique business environments
ii. Customary business practices
iii. Business implications – opportunities, challenges, and strategies
iv. Cases

Africa and the Middle East

i. Unique business environments
ii. Customary business practices
iii. Business implications – opportunities, challenges, and strategies
iv. Cases


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

This course will be team taught by two faculty members with expertise in the international area. Each will share equal responsibilities for the course. The first part of the course will be taught by a member of the economics faculty and the second part will be taught by a member of the marketing faculty.

It is expected that the two faculty members will work closely together to ensure the delivery of a well-integrated and coordinated course.

The course will combine the use of lectures, videotapes, guest speakers, reading materials, project reports, and case analyses.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. Possess a broad understanding of the global economic environment of business and of the facts, figures, opportunities, and challenges of international business.
2. Know and be able to apply ethical theories to resolve ethical dilemmas (this is directly related to international bribery and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act).
3. Recognize the impact which cultural similarities and differences have on global and multinational business strategies and practices (this is directly related to world cultures).
4. Understand the importance which international trade agreements, such as GATT, NAFTA, and the EC, have on global and regional business activities (this is directly related to international institutions and international economic integration).
5. Possess a knowledge of government institutions which affect the conduct of business (this is directly related to foreign political systems and international political risks).
6. Be well prepared to take more advanced international business and economics courses, such as International Accounting, International Finance, International and Comparative Management, and International Marketing, and International Trade Theory and Policy.


Assessment Measures

Students' knowledge will be assessed through evaluation of performance on examinations, participation in class, and oral and written reports.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Date Action Reviewed by
December 2004 Made alterations to syllabus N. Hashemzadeh, Chair
April 16, 2012 Revised