Kokusai Keizaigaku Nyumon (Introduction to International Economics)
304 pages, A5 format, softcover
May 25, 2022
Although this is a textbook, it is not a textbook as typically considered.
This book is indeed a textbook, as the title of the book suggests. It covers all the topics that first-time learners aspire to find. Although I explained the materials in plain language, I approached the topic rigorously and mathematically. This is the ideal textbook for those who pursue graduate studies in the field of international economics, as well as juniors and seniors.
However, this book is not simply a textbook to me. Rather, it is a research monograph because it is a culmination of my research conducted over 35 years, since my graduate studies. I have been continuously viewing and understanding economic news, especially about the international economy, through the lens of theoretical frameworks in my daily life. Through such numerous thought experiments, I gained a sense of which economic models are useful and how we should use them. I wrote this textbook to share that sense with readers.
The book consists of four parts. Part 1 introduces fundamental theories that I wish everyone would know. After studying the basic structure of international trade and the sources of gains from trade, Part 2 considers trade policies such as tariffs and non-tariff barriers. In Part 3, we study firms and their roles in the international economy, which is a rather frontier research field. In recent years, large firms, such as high-tech firms in the United States, have become major players in the international economy. We study the impact of trade policies on the economy through their effects on individual firms. Finally, Part 4 studies the interlinkages of international trade and the financial- and macro-economy. This area of study has yet to develop. I was almost conducting research when I was writing these last two chapters.
Economics begins with microeconomics, which investigates the behaviors of consumers and firms. Then, it proceeds to macroeconomics, which investigate the economy of a country that consists of those economic agents. International economics analyzes how those countries interact, compete with each other, and affect each other's economies. It is an exciting field as it investigates the world which involves all conceivable economic activities. It is also the area in which many misunderstandings prevail, such as "trade deficit is bad," "the depreciation of the yen is good for the Japanese economy," and "jobs are lost by trade." We need to understand the basic structure of the global economy to correctly understand economic phenomena that arise in the recent global economy. This book will help you acquire such skills.
(Written by FURUSAWA Taiji, Professor, Graduate School of Economics / 2022)