1. Contact Information
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Course Description and Credit Hours
  4. Required Texts
  5. Course Objectives
  6. Student Learning Outcomes
  7. Other Course Materials
  8. Outline Of Topics
  9. Exams and Assignments
  10. Grading Policy
  11. Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework
  12. Attendance Policy
  13. Notification of Changes
  14. Custom Sections
  15. Statements on Academic Misconduct
  16. Statement On Disability Accommodations
  17. Severe Weather Protocol
  18. Pregnant Student Accommodations
  19. Religious Observances
  20. UAct Statement

International Finance

EC 431-001Fall 2022 | 3 Credit Hours


Xiaochun Liu

Contact Information

UA Campus Directory:


UA Course Catalog Prerequisites:

EC 308 (Grade of C- or better) or EC 310 (Grade of C- or better); and EC309 (Grade of C- or better) or EC 311 (Grade of C- or better)

Course Description

Course Description and Credit Hours

No description found

The class will build upon key concepts in the textbook, and cover the following main topics:

  • Balance of payments: current account, capital account, financial account

  • The modern foreign exchange market and exchange rates

  • The determination of nominal exchange rates: money, interest rate, price, output

  • International monetary systems: A historical view

  • Financial globalization: opportunity and crisis

  • Optimum currency areas and the Euro

  • Developing countries: growth, crisis and reform

Required Texts

Required Texts from UA Supply Store:
  • KRUGMAN / (eBook) Pearson eText International Finance: Theory and Policy -- Instant Access (E - Book)

International Finance: Theory and Policy. By Paul R. Krugman, Maurice Obstfeld, Marc J. Melitz, 11e, Pearson, New York, NY. Textbook ISBN-13: 9780134519548

When you purchase the textbook, either online or from bookstore, you must make sure that the purchase should include an access code to register the course online at MyEconLab. See the detailed student registration instruction through BLACKBOARD attached to the end of the syllabus.

Course Objectives

International finance includes two main topics, namely foreign exchange and international monetary systems. The materials covered in this course will provide students a list of essential concepts and economic models of international finance, allowing students to understand the determination of exchange rates and financial globalization for international financial decisions and managing international business risks.

Student Learning Outcomes

After taking this course, students should be able to use economic theories and models to analyze exchange rate dynamics. Students should also be able to apply economic theories and models to explain changes in international banking and capital markets, and understand the conditions of optimum currency areas.

Other Course Materials

Reference Books:
Macroeconomics in Emerging Markets. Petter J. Montiel, 2e. Cambridge International Finance: Theory into Practice. Piet Sercu. Princeton

Outline of Topics

Your grade consists of weekly assignments, a presentation/project, two midterms, a final exam and class participations distributed as follows:

Exams and Assignments

Teaching Tool: MyEconLab
We will use MyEconLab throughout the whole class. MyEconLab is a web-based resource for assignments, readings (e-text), test, quiz, personalized learning and study plan, digital interactives, and so on. You must obtain an online access code when you purchase the textbook. The course registration instruction for MyEconLab can be found at the end of this syllabus.

Assignment Format
Assignments will be assigned on MyEconLab. You are responsible to regularly check any updates on MyEconLab of this course. Therefore, the registration for MyEconLab is required for this
course. Please register it A.S.A.P.

You will be assigned weekly homework via MyEconLab. Homework due time is created by MyEconLab. Once passing due dates and time, MyEconLab will automatically shut down your
access to that assignment. Therefore, late homework will be recorded as zero. Missed homework can’t be made-up.

Two midterms are scheduled on 9/22/2022 and 10/27/2022 at class time, and the final exam on 12/8/2022 from 1:30-3:30pm.

Project (required for 531)
EC/FI 531 Students must complete a term paper. The students will choose their interested topics of international finance to write a term paper about 10 pages, double spaced, 12 pts font, and 1in margin on each side. The students are welcome to discuss their project ideas with me. The Project is due by our last class on 12/1/2022.

Students will give presentations of their chosen international finance topics about 10-15 minutes. For 431 students, this will be a group presentation. Each group consists of 2-3 students. For 531 students, this will be a presentation by each student. Presentations will be scheduled after Miterm 1. Students are welcome to meet with me to discuss their presentations.

How would I grade your presentation?
By the time of your presentation, the following scoring sheet will be distributed among the class. Your classmates will score your presentation based on the criteria listed in the table below. Specifically, the average score made by your classmates will take the weight of 70% in your presentation grade and my evaluation will take 30%.

Particularly, my 30% weight would be evaluated in terms of:
(1) if you were able to communicate your project idea and motivation clearly and effectively in economics language;
(2) if you were able to present and explain your opinion and arguments with solid economic support, such as economic models, theories, facts, historical data, and so on;
(3) if your presentation were delivered concisely and precisely;
(4) The presentation that goes beyond 15 minutes or shorter than 5 minutes is not desirable.
(5) Online videos can be used in your presentation, but it should not take significant amount of your presentation time, say, longer than 3 minutes.

Grading Policy

Policy on Missed Exams and Coursework

Missed homework can’t be made-up.

Attendance Policy

Your attendance to the class is required and expected for your success in this course. If you had to miss a midterm exam, you must email me a scanned or written note for an excused reason before the exam date. If you failed to do so, the midterm exam would be recorded as 0. If you were excused from a midterm exam, there is no make-up for it and its original weight will be
given to the final exam.

Final exam is required, and thus there is no excuse to miss the final exam. If there is an interference with your class schedule because of your athletic commitments, university activities, or religious reasons, please inform me a.s.a.p.

Notification of Changes

The instructor will make every effort to follow the guidelines of this syllabus as listed; however, the instructor reserves the right to amend this document as the need arises. In such instances, the instructor will notify students in class and/or via email and will endeavor to provide reasonable time for students to adjust to any changes.

Course Evaluation

By end of the semester, you will be asked for evaluating the course by the university. To encourage you to do so to help me improve my future teaching, I would give 0.5 bonus points to any students who evaluate this course, simply by showing the evaluation evidence, such as a screen-shot of your evaluation completion page. In order to receive this bonus, you must provide your evaluation evidence by the date of the last class.

Statement on Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official Academic Misconduct Policy provided in the Online Catalog.

Statement On Disability Accommodations

Contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) as detailed in the Online Catalog.

Severe Weather Protocol

Please see the latest Severe Weather Guidelines in the Online Catalog.

Pregnant Student Accommodations

Title IX protects against discrimination related to pregnancy or parental status. If you are pregnant and will need accommodations for this class, please review the University’s FAQs on the UAct website.

Religious Observances

Under the Guidelines for Religious Holiday Observances, students should notify the instructor in writing or via email during the first two weeks of the semester of their intention to be absent from class for religious observance. The instructor will work to provide reasonable opportunity to complete academic responsibilities as long as that does not interfere with the academic integrity of the course. See full guidelines at Religious Holiday Observances Guidelines.

UAct Statement

The University of Alabama is committed to an ethical, inclusive community defined by respect and civility.  The UAct website (www.ua.edu/uact)  provides extensive information on how to report or obtain assistance with a variety of issues, including issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual violence or other Title IX violations, illegal discrimination, harassment, hate or bias incidents, child abuse or neglect, hazing, threat assessment, retaliation, and ethical violations or fraud.

Wellness Resources

College can be a stressful time

If you or someone you know is facing a challenging time or dealing with academic or personal stress, anxiety, depression, or other concerns, we strongly encourage and support you to seek assistance or to help friends find the care that they may need. Please refer to our Campus Resource List for Students.

Also, If you are experiencing a personal crisis and need urgent assistance, you can also contact the following resources:

Counseling Center

  • Monday-Friday during routine Center hours (205-348-3863).
  • Weekends, holidays, after-hours (contact UAPD at 205-348-5454 and ask to speak with the on-call counselor).
  • You may also text BAMA to 741-741 to text with a trained volunteer.

Women and Gender Resource Center

  • Monday-Friday during routine Center hours (205-348-5040).
  • Weekends, holidays, after-hours (contact UAPD at 205-348-5454 and ask to speak to the on-call advocate for the WGRC.