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Introduction to the Global Business Environment

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

This course deals with the application of global business theory in the context of institutional, political, national and international economic factors. We will study how global trade patterns are determined, how the particular configurations of global finance under which firms operate emerge, and contemporary strategies utilized by firms in the global economy within the context of the particular business environments they face.

We will analyze how different configurations of key elements " the market, the participants, the institutions, and the external factors - constitute the global business environment. It is an environment in which each participant wants to optimize a measure of welfare: for example, firms that make production and pricing decisions in order to maximize profits (or any other measure); individuals that make consumption and labor decisions in order to maximize happiness; governments that determine economic policy in order to maximize the welfare or their societies. We analyze how different market structures affect economic decisions in different institutional environments, and how the business environment is shaped by those behaviors. These patterns of behaviors are central for understanding a wide array of economic phenomena such as the booms and busts in stock markets, the current global financial crises, the evolution of income distribution and wealth distribution in societies, the emergence social conflict, and the shape of institutions that determine global governance, among others.

By the end of this course, students should be able to grasp such concepts as: perfect competition, oligopolies and monopolies, strategic behavior, product differentiation, the function of economic institutions, exchange rate, the current account, the capital account, the functions of the banking system, financial instability, global governance, and the role of multinational institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and the institutions that regulate international financial relations in the global business environment.

The course has no prerequisites, but it is highly encouraged that students have been following current discussions on the global economic phenomena through newspapers, magazines, etc.