My professor for Int. Trade insists on using his unfinished notes as a basis for the class, so I'm looking for an alternative.

The syllabus goes as follows:

Gains from trade

Free trade equilibrium and offer curves

Applications of the basic trade model Tariffs and welfare

Trade preferences

The Ricardian model

The hecksher ohlin model- fixed coefficients

The theory of international capital flows

As background: by this point we've had a few micro and macro courses, industrial organization, public economics, game theory, optimization, and linear algebra.

Thanks in advance


2 Answers 2


International Economics by Alan M. Taylor and Robert C. Feenstra is a good alternative, as International Trade by John Mclaren, which is more original.

If you look for a more advanced textbook, which discusses the underlying assumptions of the trade models, the reference is Advanced International Trade by Robert C. Feenstra.


Krugman, Obstfeld and Melitz - International Trade: Theory and Policy, is a good textbook. My professor used it to supplement his course on International Trade (advanced undergraduate level). Even though he did not follow the textbook closely, I enjoyed reading the full chapters, and it contributed to my understanding of the issues.

  • $\begingroup$ Downvote by me. There is nothing wrong with the answer, I just don't think Krugman et. al. is a good book, as the assumptions made are frequently unclear. However it is well known and liked by many people, so I am probably in the minority. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ I respect your opinion, but I do not remember the assumptions being unclear in that textbook. And I usually get prickly when assumptions aren't clearly stated. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 14:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think in the chapters on the Ricardian model and the Heckscher-Ohlin model Krugman never explains that the results only hold if the utility functions are homothetic, which is a very strong assumption. In case of the Heckscher-Ohlin model it is also necessary to assume that both countries' productions are inner points, which is not necessarily true. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 17:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Okay, I agree that those are important assumptions, but I find that it is not unreasonable to leave them out for an advanced undergraduate textbook. Those are typically things whose mathematical justification one only first encounters in graduate level micro-economics. Thanks for your clarification though. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 18:22

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