PA 856: Trade, Competition, and Governance in a Global Economy

This site provides resources for students in PA 856 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for Spring 2016 Semester

Figure 1: 'Spaghetti bowl' RTAs in the Western Hemisphere. Original source: Richard Baldwin, "Multilateralising regionalism: The WTO’s next challenge," VoxEU, February 29, 2008.

Syllabus | Important Dates | Downloadable Course Materials and Information Sources | Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs | Department of Economics

LECTURE: MW 1l:00-12:15, 6112 Social Sciences

Professor Menzie Chinn
Office Hours: MW 4-5
7418 Social Sciences
Tel: (608) 262-7397
Home Page

Course Syllabus

PA856 Syllabus in PDF file.

This course provides an introduction to international trade policy. Its purpose is to provide students with an understanding of international trade theory, rules, politics and institutions and the major policy issues facing the global trading system. The first part of the course presents a treatment of the theory of international trade. It explores the rationale for free trade, the distributional impact of trade, the impact of tariffs and quotas, and the challenges presented by deeper international economic integration. The second part of the course deals with the World Trade Organization, and how U.S. trade policy is conducted. It explores negotiation mechanisms and principles and the rules relating to market access, dispute settlement, fair trade, safeguards and trade-related intellectual property, (TRIPs). The third part considers major issues facing the trading system. These include regional trading arrangements including TTP and TTIP, foreign investment and national security concerns, the impact of China, and health and safety concerns associated with trade. The aim of this course is to provide an analytical background for those who plan to go into government service, international organizations and agencies, businesses involved in the global economy, nongovernmental organizations with international foci, and consulting firms analyzing international trade policy issues. Only those who are comfortable with graphical – and to a lesser degree algebraic – analysis should enroll in this course. It requires some immersion in relevant economic theory, although some time is devoted to institutional descriptions.

The required textbooks, available at the UW Bookstore, are:

Additional assigned readings will be available on the Web (via links on this website). Required Additional Readings

Important Dates

  • Midterm 1, 2/24
  • Midterm 2, 4/6
  • Term paper, 5/6 5/9

    Course Materials and Sources of Economic Information

    Downloadable Course Materials

    Additional Required Readings

    Additional Readings


    News Sources

    Trade Economists


    Economics and Economic Policy Links

    U.S. Government Agencies

    International Organizations

    Current and Historical Data

    PA856 Trade, Competition and Governance in the Global Economy/ UW Madison / / 3 May 2016