TrainingsMasterEconomicsCoursesInternational trade

Master EconomicsUE International trade


The objectives of this module is to familiarize students with the basic theories of international trade and to expose them to the latest theoretical and empirical advances in the field. By doing so, students should develop a clearer sense of what constitutes a good research topic (especially in the field of international trade). The course should equip them with skills and knowledge useful to better understand the current debates surrounding trade policy.

Course outline : This course covers the most important theories of international trade and their applications. Each week, the rigorous presentation of theoretical contributions is accompanied by a comprehensive overview of the corresponding empirical validations. The first part of the module quickly reviews the neoclassical theories of trade in the simplest frameworks, and then extends their predictions to more recent and realistic settings. The second part covers models of monopolistic competition with homogeneous and heterogenous firms. It also defines a unifying theoretical framework that can encompass different market structures and is often used for quantitative analysis. The third and last of part of the module applies the theoretical and empirical tools used in the first two parts to the study of three research topics that have recently received strong attention in the field.

  • Part I : Neoclassical trade models

Ricardian models

Factor proportions theories

  • Part II : Monopolistic competition and firms

Monopolistic competition with homogeneous firms

Monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firms

Gravity models and gains from trade

  • Part III : Selected topics in international trade

Trade and labour markets

Trade policy

Global supply chains and multinationals

Professional skills

By the end of the course, students should be able to :

  • Understand how trade and specialization affect welfare ;
  • Identify the ingredients of the main theoretical models of international trade ;
  • Derive analytically the gains from trade under different market structures ;
  • Appreciate the main channels whereby trade influences labour markets ;
  • Understand the economic incentives and consequences of trade policy ;
  • Analyse the ways firms can participate in international markets.

Language used

Main language used by this course: Anglais.


The reading material consists of academic papers (review articles and research paper, published and unpublished) and various notes. These will be posted on AMeTICE before the relevant lecture. The full list of readings (marked as ‘essential’ or ‘supplementary’) will be made available in Week 1. Parts of the material is covered in the following textbook :

  • Feenstra, R.C. (2016), Advanced International Trade : Theory and Evidence, Second Edition.

Fundamental prerequisites

Intermediate microeconomics and econometrics (M1 level). Familiarity with STATA (or MATLAB).

Recommended prerequisites

International trade at undergraduate or M1 level.

Structure and organisation

The course is organized in 8 weekly lectures of 3 hours each. The relevant slides will be available on AMeTICE right after the lecture. The reading materials will be posted on AMeTICE before the lecture.

Assessment is composed of :

  • Report on a research paper chosen from a list to be distributed in Week 1 and oral exam (15 minutes) on the report and on the contents of the module (2/3 of final grade) ;
  • Weekly comments on papers that are being taken up in class (list to be distributed in Week 1). These will have to be e-mailed to me before the class. They should briefly summarize the paper and provide one or two brief insights in the form of a comment (favourable or critical) or a question about the paper. Comments should not be more than one-page long. Examples will be posted on AMeTICE (1/6 of final grade) ;
  • Two problem sets (1/6 of final grade).

Volume of teachings

  • Lectures: 24 hours

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