International Trade

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Session Overview


How many of you have received flowers for Valentine's Day? Of course, February in New England is snowy, and those flowers are not raised locally—they are imported from other countries. International trade is hugely important in national and international economies today, but up to this point it has been excluded from our models. In this lecture, a basic introduction to the principles of international trade is provided.

Roses you receive on Valentine’s Day may have been imported from another country as a product of international trade. Image courtesy of ntknicole on Flickr.

Keywords: International trade; comparative advantage; specialization; autarky; tariffs; free trade.

Session Activities


Before watching the lecture video, read the course textbook for an introduction to the material covered in this session:

  • [R&T] Chapter 17, "International Trade."

Lecture Videos


Check Yourself

Concept Quiz

This concept quiz covers key vocabulary terms and also tests your intuitive understanding of the material covered in this session. Complete this quiz before moving on to the next session to make sure you understand the concepts required to solve the mathematical and graphical problems that are the basis of this course.


Further Study

These optional resources are provided for students that wish to explore this topic more fully.

Other OCW and OER Content

14.54 International Trade, Fall 2006. MIT OpenCourseWare An in-depth course on game theory.


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