Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
EC 230
Course Title:
Contemporary World Economic Issues: International Economics
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers issues and problems related to international economics and international economic institutions. Includes trade and the balance of payments; trade competition between the U.S. and other nations; reform and restructure of the Russian and Eastern European economies; economic development and problems of developing nations. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores.

Addendum to Course Description

Credits from this course qualify for general education purposes at Portland Community College and may be applied toward satisfying Associates Degrees at Portland Community College. Courses with three digit numbers may be transferable to four year colleges and universities.  Students should consult with a member of the Economics faculty at Portland Community College and/or other institutions regarding transferability and application of credit to other institutions.  Books and other materials are at the discretion of each course instructor.  Prices for texts and/or other materials may be found at the Portland Community College bookstore. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  1. Think critically and formulate independent and well considered conclusions about the global economy.
  2. Effectively participate in the political process and the economy by utilizing an understanding of the historical evolution of economic systems, institutions and ideologies.
  3. Understand different paradigmatic perspectives regarding international trade and economic development.
  4. Enhance civic engagement by applying a deeper awareness of the different public policy options for addressing challenges associated with economic development.
  5. Make rational decisions based on rudimentary marginal analyses.
  6. Be prepared to further their studies in Economics courses

Course Activities and Design

This course may include lecture and discussion formats utilizing faculty expertise, texts, supplementary reading materials, films,speakers, and other classroom aids at the discretion of the instructor.  Regular attendance and completion of assigned reading are essential to the successful completion of this course.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Evaluation procedures will be determined by the individual instructor and will be discussed during the first class meeting.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

The defined outcomes listed in this guide are stated in terms of what the student will know after completing this course.  This section is a statement of final learning outcomes and does not attempt to show how, or in what order, the defined outcomes will be achieved.

  • Upon completing this course, students should have a basic understanding of:
  • The benefits and problems posed by  international trade.
  • Discuss comparative advantage, examine arguments for trade barriers, study the history of trade restrictions in the U.S., and trade friction between the U.S. and Japan.
  • Understand the U.S. balance of Payments and its effect upon the level of the domestic economy and how the exchange rates are     determined.
  • Identify the major transactions and accounts of the balance of payments.
  • Discuss the gold standard, IMF System, & current floating exchange rate system.
  • Know the specific structure and functions of various international institutions.
  • Know the evolution, structure and reform of the major economies of Western & Eastern Europe.
  • Common characteristics of Western European Economies.
  • The evolution and current status of the European  Economic Community.
  • Structure and reform of the Eastern European & Russian Economies.
  • Basic understanding of economic growth and the problems of developing countries.
  • The importance of savings and investment and various growth models
  • Analyze a number of barriers to economic growth faced by LDC's.
  • U.S. foreign economic policies.
  • Third World Nations development strategy.