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ECON209 - Global Economy

Unit rationale, description and aim

Economists study trends of globalisation and the impact on trade, investment, technology, labour, and finance. The unit exposes students to current issues and trends in the global economy. Using real-world data and case studies to examine classical and new trade theories in goods, services and assets, the unit explores their application to the costs and benefits of trade in Australia and other economies. The role of international organisations, such as the IMF and World Bank, in the global economy, will be investigated along with exchange rates and the effects of fluctuations under different exchange rate regimes. The aim of this unit is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian economy in the context of the global economy and recommend ways it could be improved.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify and assess the key factors influencing the global economy and analyse the impacts they have on various economies, including Indigenous economies (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4)

LO2 - Discuss economic concepts and their application to contemporary issues (GA5, GA7, GA8)

LO3 - Apply economic concepts, mathematical ideas and techniques using information technology (GA3, GA4, GA10)

LO4 - Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Australian economy in the context of the global economy and recommend ways to improve the situation (GA4, GA6, GA7, GA8)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  • The nature of the global economy and globalisation;
  • Globalisation: winners and losers;
  • The impact of globalisationon Indigenous population;
  • Migration, aboriginal economic migration;
  • Indigenous People in the Global Economy;
  • The impact of globalisationon trade, investment, technology, labour, and finance;
  • The international business cycle;
  • Trade theory;
  • Reasons for protection, types of policies and their effects;
  • Australia's trading pattern - trends and issues;
  • Balance of Payments;
  • International trading organisations and agreements;
  • Exchange rate determination and the effects of fluctuations on economies;
  • The challenges facing economic policymakers under different exchange rate regimes;
  • The role of international organisations, such as the IMF and World Bank, in the global economy;
  • Techniques in locating economic information, critically analysing economic sources and data;
  • Techniques in clear communication (presentation and research-based writing).

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is designed to be offered fully online and will include synchronous delivery of unit content, collaborative online learning activities and other technology-enabled learning synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities to foster interaction between students.

To achieve the learning objectives outlined above, this unit provides content and theoretical information in lectures. Students engage students in active learning activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, problem-solving, case study analysis, and economic simulations to promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content in the context of tutorial workshops or using tutorial webinars. This unit uses case studies and economic simulation exercises (e.g. trade wars and economic sanctions) to explore how what students have learned applies to real-world situations. In addition, students in this unit will be encouraged to develop specific skills in locating economic information, critically analysing economic sources and economic case studies, and confident communication skills through research-based writing and in-class presentation using various media.  

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, videos etc.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessments in this unit encourage students to develop a range of skills related to becoming an economics professional working in different real-life areas such as arts, global studies, teaching, law, and commerce. Assessments have been developed to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.

Students in this unit are encouraged to develop specific skills in locating economic information, critically analysing economic sources and data including indicators of economic wellbeing, and confident communication skills (presentation and research-based writing). The following assessment tasks are designed to develop students' knowledge and skills are:

1. Designated skill development activities. These activities are focused on the gradual building of certain skills that are required in economics graduates including critical thinking, communication, data analysis, and others.

2. Research assignment. This will allow students to engage with the scholarship on specific frameworks in the global economy based on the real-world data and theories of trade, globalisation, and finance covered in the course.

3. Final examination. This final assessment will test students’ knowledge of the topics studied during the semester and apply skills of economic analysis at the intermediate level. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Skills Development Task:

A scaffolded task that requires students to consider real work case studies, economic games and simulations, analysis of real-world trade data including Balance of Payment, and working through allocated problems. (These activities may be online.)


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2: Research Assignment


  • be based on the analysis of the real-world data/case studies/issues
  • develop students' research skills and ability to locate and use and secondary international trade or finance-related economic data and sources
  • encourage students to obtain critical thinking skills through analysing international trade or finance-related economic data
  • teach students to communicate clearly in written form to construct an evidence-based economic case with appropriate referencing. This also requires presenting their work in front of an audience using various media.


LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Final Examination

The closed-book final examination will allow students to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during the unit to a particular case study, analysis of the real-world economic data (e.g. composition of Australia Balance of Payments), topical economic issue (e.g. currency and trade wars), and evaluating trade-related economic policies.


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

Appleyard, D. and Field, A. (2017). International Economics (9th ed.). McGraw Hill.

Australian Government (2019). Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011–2018. Available online

Carbough, R.J. (2018). International Economics (15th ed.) Cengage.

Colbourne, R., and Anderson, R.B. (2017). Indigenous People in the Global Economy: Entrepreneurship in the Pursuit of Well-Being. Available at SSRN: or

Gerber, J. (2018). International Economics (7th ed.). Pearson.

Krugman, P.R., Obstfeld, M. and Melitz, M.J. (2018), International Economics – Theory and Policy (11th ed.). Pearson Education, Sydney.

Pugel, T. (2015), International Economics (16th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education, Irwin, Chicago.

Salvatore, D. (2015). International Economics (11th ed.) Wiley.

Sawyer, W. and Sprinkle, R. (2020). Applied International Economics (5th ed.). Routledge, New York, NY.

Further references

The World Bank Group,

The World Trade Organisation,

Our World in Data, 

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