Skip to main content

University of Exeter Business School

Policy Issues in the Global Economy

Module titlePolicy Issues in the Global Economy
Module codeBEE2021
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Ben Zissimos (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The module covers a range of topics including international trade policy issues, investment and capital flows and sovereign debt crises. The module will provide tools for analysis of the key economic trade-offs that shape decision-making in a globalised world.

This module must be taken in conjunction with BEE2024 (Economic Principles and Policy) or BEE2025 and BEE2026 (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics)

Additional Information:


As indicated by the title, this module explores policy issues in the global economy. It is specifically designed for students who want to work in a globalised context and equips them with the skills to analyse international issues.


In this module students gain an understanding of international economic models, and the skills to analyse the issues they may encounter in an international setting.  Students are equipped with theoretical knowledge and understanding that would pave the way towards a career in international institutions like the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organisation, European central banks and the European Commission.


All of the resources for this module are available through the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

The assessment structure on this module is subject to review and may change before the start of the new academic year. Any changes will be clearly communicated to you before the start of term and if you wish to change module as a result of this you can do so in the module change window. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will enable students to expand their understanding of the international economic system, and to apply economic thinking to assess policy change at corporate, governmental and organisational / institutional levels. It covers a range of topics including the key factors that influence and change the nature of world trade, investment and financial movements as well as other wider policy issues in the global economy such as sovereign debt crises. The module will not only provide coverage of major issues facing countries in a globalised world but also illustrate how economics can provide detailed insights to address these topical issues.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Understand the workings of international trade policy, and how these motivate the need for international trade agreements
  • 2. Understand the factors affecting the macroeconomic environment, explain how they interact, and thus assess the ramifications of a change in one factor on other macroeconomic variables
  • 3. Evaluate the national and supra-national policy issues relating to international debt problems

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate ability to think analytically
  • 5. Demonstrate ability to interpret economic data
  • 6. Demonstrate ability to question common assumptions held within the business environment

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Demonstrate capacity for analytical thought and reasoned discussion
  • 8. Demonstrate capacity for independent study skills
  • 9. Demonstrate capacity for written and oral communication skills

Syllabus plan

Part I: World Trading System 

  • The instruments and motivations behind international trade policy 
  • The role of the WTO

 Part II: Global Financial System, including Sovereign Debt Crises

  • The workings of the global financial system
  • Global Imbalances and sovereign debt crises

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activity20Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activity10Online QA sessions
Scheduled learning and teaching activity10Tutorials

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Model questionsIn class1-9Model answers

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Exam801 hour 30 minutes1-9Final grade; exam's indicative answers will be posted on ELE
Mid-term exam2050 minutes1-9Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExamExam (1 hour 30 mins) (80%)1-9Aug/Sep
Mid-term examMid-term exam (50 minutes) (20%)1-9Aug/Sep

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Main Course Textbook:

Paul Krugman, Maurice Obstfeld and Marc Melitz International Economics: Theory and Policy

Note: there are many versions of this book, including the ‘Global Edition’ and ones that do not have the extension ‘Global Edition’.  Although the most up-to-date editions will be most closely applicable to the course, you will be able to get by with older (i.e. cheaper) alternatives on the web.

Supplementary Textbooks (optional):

  • Benassy-Quere et al.(2010), Economic Policy. Theory and Praxtice. Oxford University Press
  • Blanchard, O.,A. Amighini, F. Giavazzi (2013) Macroeconomics, A European Perspective, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, Pearson
  • Montiel (2009) International Macroeconomics, Wiley
  • De Grauwe (2014) Economics of Monetary Union, Oxford University Press
  • Brender et al.(2013), The Sovereign Debt Crisis, CEPS
  • Lemieux (2013), The Public Debt Problem, Palgrave
  • Borooah (2014), Europe in an Age of Austerity, Palgrave
  • Salin (2014) Money and Macro-economics, IEA
  • Lienau (2014) Sovereign Debt. Harvard University Press

Key words search

International economic system, International trade, Investment

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

BEE2038 and BEE2039 or BEE2025 and BEE2026 

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date