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International Economics


Admission requirements

Required courses:

  • Principles of Economics


Countries are ever more economically interdependent. Products and services come from everywhere and go everywhere. This, as well as the liberalization of large financial flows, makes countries very dependent on what happens in the international economy. At the end of this course, students will have an understanding of both the basic principles of international trade and finance as well as the recent developments in trade and finance. These will include, among other things, regional and global integration, the consequences of international financial crises on the development of economies, the interaction of economic policies in individual countries and the impact of international institutions, such as the WTO and the IMF, on the processes of globalization. Students will be able to understand, apply and discuss fundamental economic arguments on international economic issues.

Course Objectives

In this course, the student will gain a thorough acquaintance with the principles of international economics. He will understand the benefits and costs of international trade and finance, as well as the recent developments in trade and finance.

At the end of this course, the student:

  • Can reproduce the main principles of international economics and can distinguish different motivations for free trade and for trade policies;

  • Can explain different systems of exchange rates and the importance of these differences for the policy discretion in economic policies;

  • Is able to collect, interpret and process information in the field of International Economics;

  • Can write short briefs on selected issues of importance in the field of international economics.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2023-2024 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Each week consists of two seminars. During the first seminar, the main issues in the required reading will be identified and discussed. Based on an interactive setting, the focus will be on understanding the concepts and theories in international economics. In the second seminar, students will apply their knowledge. Each week the homework consists of preparing study problems. In class the students will discuss the solutions for the problems. Applying the concepts and theories, and explaining this to each other increases the knowledge and understanding of economics.

Assessment Method

Final written exam (40%)

  • The final exam consists of open questions and is administered in week 8. The questions will be based on the literature and the materials that are discussed in class.
    Written class assignments (30 %)

  • Each student writes three (two page) notes on an issue related to the topic of that week using material from the course and other economic arguments. Students are expected to engage in a discussion on the submitted notes.

**Class participation (10%) **

  • Every week, students are expected to prepare the reading material and the study questions. Based on this preparation, students are able and expected to participate in class. Furthermore, given that this class is offered remotely (online), students are expected to lively participate in the Brightspace discussion forums for each week. In these forums you can start questions by starting a thread and/or engage in threads initiated by the instructor or by other students

Term paper (20%)

Reading list

  • Kenneth A. Reinert, An Introduction to International Economics, New Perspectives in the World Economy, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, 2021 (ppb isbn: 9781108455169)

Reader to be made available through Brightspace.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Joop de Kort,