1. The first topic is concerned with the POLICY DILEMMA FACING CENTRAL BANKS around the world, should they tighten, loosen or leave alone monetary policy?
What are the main features of the economic environment faced by central banks?
How are the major central banks responding in terms of the policy tools they have available to them?
What have been the outcomes of monetary policy over the last five years?
Evaluation covers the relative merits of monetary policy, notably the successes of monetary policy and its limitations and negative consequences.
To what extent have our existing models and theories of the economy broken down (obvious models and theory to refer to are the monetary transmission model and the Phillips curve relationship)?
What alternatives are there to stimulate the economy?
How is central bank policy complicated by considerations beyond the domestic economy?
2: The second topic concerns INTERNATIONAL TRADE, especially free trade and the shift in some countries to trade protection.
Explain what trade liberalisation involves
Explain what is meant by mercantilism
Explain what is meant by ‘free trade’
Explain the merits of free trade and the justification for it (including that from both classical and new trade theory)
Explain how opening-up to trade can bring negative outcomes
Explain the mechanisms for implementing trade protection
Explain the theoretical justification for protectionism and why trade liberalisation is being rolled back.
What evidence is there for a slowdown in the growth of trade
3: The third topic concerns CORPORATE TAXATION
Explain what is meant by base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS)
Explain what is meant by tax arbitrage in the context of multinational companies (MNCs)
Explain what is meant by transfer pricing
Explain the mechanisms used by MNCs to lessen tax liabilities
Explain Dunning’s Eclectic Paradigm and how tax planning strategies strengthen and take advantage of all three of the sources of advantage in the theory.
4: The Fourth Topic concerns CLIMATE CHANGE
This topic fits into the broader question of global governance and to the fundamental tension between a world governed by nation states with jurisdiction over their own economies, while the global economy is global.
What evidence is there for climate change?
What are the forecasts for climate change by the end of the century?
What are the environmental impacts of climate change and how do these translate into risks for industries and businesses?
Briefly explain the key elements of cost-benefit analysis and the difficulties of applying this form of analysis to climate change.
How is government policy responding to the threats of climate change and what are the consequences of this for business?