What Is International Economics?

Sign with various exchange rates listed
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What exactly international economics is and what it covers tend to depend on the views of the person using the definition. Roughly speaking, it covers economic interactions between countries such as international trade.

More precisely, international economics is the field of study that deals with trade between countries.

Topics in the Field of International Economics

The following topics are a sample of those considered in the field of international economics:

  • Exchange rates and flows of money between countries
  • Free trade and trade disputes, such as the softwood lumber dispute
  • Immigration and migration between countries
  • The role regulations and shipping costs play on trade flows
  • How differences in tax regimes influence a company's decisions on which countries to operate in

International Economics - One Perspective

The book International Economics: Global Markets and International Competition gives the following definition:

"International economics describes and predicts production, trade, and investment across countries. Wages and income rise and fall with international commerce even in large rich developed economies like the US. In many countries, international economics is a matter of life and death. Economics as a field began in England in the 1700s with a debate over issues of free international commerce, and the debate continues. Domestic industries pay politicians for protection against foreign competition."

Institute for International Economics' Definition

The Institute for International Economics examines a number of hot topics in international economics, such as outsourcing, US steel policy, the Chinese exchange rate, and trade and labor standards.

International economists study questions such as "How do sanctions on Iraq impact the lives of the common citizen in the country?", "Do floating exchange rates cause financial instability?", and "Does globalization lead to an erosion of labor standards?". Needless to say, international economists deal with some of the more controversial topics in economics.

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Moffatt, Mike. "What Is International Economics?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/definition-of-international-economics-1146350. Moffatt, Mike. (2020, August 27). What Is International Economics? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-international-economics-1146350 Moffatt, Mike. "What Is International Economics?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-international-economics-1146350 (accessed March 27, 2023).