Essay Questions

  • What are opportunity costs? What impact does trade, a division of labor and globalization have on opportunity costs and the fact of scarcity? Explain the concept of a production possibilities frontier (PPF) and draw one. Can one depict the concept of opportunity cost on the PPF? Now show the impact of trade on the PPF.
  • What is meant by the gains from trade? What are two well known sources of the gains from trade and explain how each lead to gains from trade using numerical examples.
  • Explain the argument that free trade and globalization hurt domestic countries and workers because of job losses. Now make your best case against this argument using economic reasoning and examples from the assigned book.
  • Make your best case (economic and ethical) in favor of protectionism using arguments made in the assigned book. Which argument do you believe is the most compelling and why? Substantiate your answer with economic reasoning.
  • Make your best case (economic and ethical) in favor of sweatshops, using the assigned readings for the class. Which arguments in favor of sweatshops do you find most persuasive and why?
  • Explain some common arguments made against sweatshops in third world countries. How do these arguments compare to the ones made against free trade and in favor of fair-trade standards (hint: focus on the role of good intentions in both)? Do you believe fair trade standards could be a way to deal with problems caused by sweatshops? Why or why not?
  • Explain the economic arguments for and against fair trade standards and compare them to each other. Could a world of increasing free trade deal with the problems raised by fair-trade advocates? Why or why not? Substantiate your argument with an analysis and examples from the readings.
  • What are the economic arguments for open immigration and against open immigration? Pick one argument on each side that you find most persuasive and explain why in each case.
  • What are the ethical/moral arguments that can be made in favor of open immigration? Do these arguments apply equally to the case for free trade in goods and services? Why or why not.

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