Boundless Learning: Additional resources specifically developed for the textbook chapters below can be found by clicking the link to the left. Beware: You will have to sign up with Boundless Learning and choose Mankiw's textbook first. Then, you will have to search for the right chapter.


September 11 (Block A); September 12 (Block F): Introduction to Year 2 Economics

  • Homework Due: None

  • Assessments and Activities: Today, we will be taking care of basic business. We will talk about the things you’ll need to to know to get along in this course, including familiarity with Edline and my IB Econ wiki.


September 13 (Block A); September 14 (Block F): Reasons for trade and the theory of comparative advantage (Syllabus Section 4.1)

  • Homework Due

    1. Extract focused on macroeconomics (Section 2 of syllabus): Bring a hard copy of the extract that you plan to use for your second commentary to class.
    2. Read Chapter 3 (Mankiw) and Section 4.1 (McGee) and watch the following videos on this topic.




September 15 (Block A); September 18 (Block F): Benefits of free trade (Syllabus Section 4.2)

  • Homework Due: Read Mankiw (Chapter 9) and McGee (Section 4.2).

  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response/problem and lecture

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      • England and Scotland both produce scones and sweaters. Suppose that an English worker can produce 50 scones per hour or 1 sweater per hour. Suppose that a Scottish worker can produce 40 scones per hour or 2 sweaters per hour.

        1. Which country has the absolute advantage in the production of each good? Which country has the comparative advantage?
        2. If England and Scotland decide to trade, which commodity will Scotland trade to England? Explain.
        3. If a Scottish worker could produce only 1 sweater per hour, would Scotland gain from trade? Would England still gain from trade?

    • Lecture: The benefits of free trade (PDF below)




September 19 (Block A); September 20 (Block F): Protectionism (Syllabus Section 4.2)


  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response/problem and lecture

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      • Use a diagram to explain how a nation will benefit when it transitions from a closed economy to an open one and ends up importing goods. Draw a second diagram to show how a country that ends up exporting goods benefits from free trade.




September 21 (Block A); September 22 (Block F): Economic integration and the WTO (Syllabus Section 4.3 and 4.4)

  • Homework Due: Read Chapter 9 (Mankiw) and McGee section on ecomic integration.

  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response/problem and lecture

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      1. Define each of the following terms: tariff and quota.
      2. Use diagrams to explain how tariffs and quotas are inefficient.




September 25 (Block A); September 26 (Block F): Balance of Payments (Syllabus Section 4.5)

  • Homework Due: Read Chapter 31 in Mankiw (The International Flows of Goods and Capital section) and watch this video.

  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response/problem and lecture

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      • Define: Free trade area, customs union, common market and monetary union.
      • Explain the concepts of trade creation and trade diversion.




September 27 (Block A); September 28 (Block F): Exchange Rates (Syllabus Section 4.6)



  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response/problem and lecture

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      • Define: Net exports and net capital outflow. Explain why they must be equal.
      • Explain how saving, investment and net capital outflow are related.




September 29 (Block A); October 2 (Block F): Internal Assessment (Commentary #2)

  • Homework Due: Be prepared for free-response/problem. Bring your laptop to class, if you would like to write with it instead of the school laptops.


  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response/problem and write first draft of Commentary #2.

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      • Suppose the French suddently develop a strong taste for California wines.

        1. What happens to the demand for dollars in the foreign exchange market?
        2. What happens to the value of the dollar in the foreign exchange market?
        3. What happens to the quantity of net exports in the United States?

    • Commentary writing: Once you have completed your response, you can begin writing Commentary #2.


October 3 (Block A); October 4 (Block F): The relationship between the domestic macroeconomy (prices and interest rates) and international trade (exchange rates and the current and capital accounts).



  • Assessments and Activities: Lecture and practice problems

    • Lecture: The macroeconomy's effect on international trade flows

    • Practice problems

      1. Purchasing Power Parity
      2. Monetary policy and international trade
      3. Fiscal policy and international trade


October 5 (Block A); October 6 (Block F): Balance of Payment Problems (Syllabus Section 4.7)

  • Homework Due: None

  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response/problem and lecture

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      • Assume that the government of Japan decides to use a loose monetary policy in order to remedy a recession.

        1. Use diagrams to explain the effect of this policy on the interest rate, level of investment, real GDP and the price level.
        2. Explain how the change in the interest rate will affect the international value of the Yen and Japan's trade balance.
        3. Explain how the change in price level will affect the international value of the Yen and Japan's trade balance.
        4. Explain how the change in real GDP will affect Japan's trade balance and the international value of the Yen.
        5. Now assume that Japan embarks on an expansionary fiscal policy, running a budget deficit. Explain how this might result in a trade deficit.




October 9 (Block A); October 10 (Block F): Terms of Trade (Syllabus Section 4.8)

  • Homework Due: Watch the following videos and come to class prepared to ask any questions you have.
    • Watch this video (Defining terms of trade and explaining it in Production Possibilities)
    • And this one (Defining and explaining the Marshall-Lerner Condition)
    • And one more (Explaining the J-Curve in conjunction with the Marsall-Lerner Condition)

  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response/problem and lecture

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      • "Balance of payments surpluses on current account are good; deficits are bad.” Evaluate this statement.



October 11 (Block A); October 12 (Block F): Globalization


  • Assessments and Activities: Free-response and discussion

    • Free-response/problem: You will work cooperatively with your partner to construct a response to the following prompt.

      • Define terms of trade, Marshall-Lerner condition and the J-curve.
      • Evaluate the significance for less developed countries of a deterioration in the terms of trade.

    • Class Discussion: Once you have completed your response, there will be a discussion on today's reading.



October 13 (Block A); October 16 (Block F): Globalization

  • Homework Due

    • Read: "Why the World is Not Flat" (PDF below)
    • Write: Two notecard commentaries (one on "The World is Flat" and one on "Why the World is Not Flat"). The notecard commentary should attempt to explain and evaluate one aspect of the reading that is applicable to the concepts we have learned in IB Economics. The commentary should fit on one card and look a lot like a response to an 8-mark "evaluate" (Part D) question on Paper 3 of the IB Exam. Click here for an explanation of how to do these kinds of questions. There is a rubric below, too, for you to reference.


      • Define terms of trade, Marshall-Lerner condition and the J-curve.
      • Identify and explain two policies that a country could employ to eliminate a current account deficit.
      • Evaluate the significance for less developed countries of a deterioration in the terms of trade.

    • Class Discussion: Thomas Friedman assumes the the world is flat. Pankaj Ghemawat believes that the world is not flat. What do these authors mean by these assertions and how do they "know" they are correct?

    • In-class problem: We will work in groups on a problem in international economics.



October 17 (Block A); October 18 (Block F)

  • Topic: International Economics

  • Homework Due: Commentary #2 (final draft) of your Internal Assessment Portfolio to be handed in at the beginning of class.

  • Assessments and Activities: Review international economics topics and start discussion board.


October 19 (Block A); October 20 (Block F): International Economics Test (Multiple-choice)


October 23 (Block A); October 24 (Block F): International Economics Test (Paper 3)