Sample Economics Essay Questions – International Economics

JC Economics International Economics Essay Questions

Are you seeking question samples of essays for International Economic? Are you struggling for your H2 Econs (9757 Syllabus) Paper, and find it difficult to prepare for your upcoming Prelims or eventual GCE A-Level Econs exams for H2 students? This topical content section has 5 main chapters, and none is easy, almost akin to Market Structures in Microeconomics.


In order to do well for this topical essay, you need to sufficient content knowledge of macroeconomic indicators and macro Econs performance, plus standard of living (SOL). Next, you must be well-versed with the macro aims of Economic Growth, Unemployment and Inflation. Finally, you must be superb with the demand side policies (DSP) and supply side policies (SSP) – this is the key to scoring for H2 Economics. Note that the topic appears mostly in Section B of question Paper 2.

Note: For 2020 and 2021, these few sub topics form the Common Last Topics of CLT, which are removed from the GCE A-Level econs exams for the respective years.


Unless stated, all parts a and b are respective of 10 marks and 15 marks. Here is sample listing of International Economics essay question list:

1. In light of the trend towards globalisation, discuss whether Singapore currently adopts the best policies to achieve her macroeconomic goals. [25]


2. The recent worldwide recession and rising prices of oil and other commodities caused many problems such as rising inflation and increased economic vulnerability.

Discuss whether Singapore should stay open and integrate with the global economy to achieve its macroeconomic objectives in the light of the above problems. (25)


Q3. With increasing globalisation, Singapore has to invest ahead in the fundamentals that will drive Singapore’s economic success and ensure that growth remains inclusive, benefiting all members of society, while encouraging a spirit of self-reliance. The government also has to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently in order to ensure environmental sustainability. 
Source: Ministry of Finance, S’pore 

a. Explain how globalisation may hinder a government in achieving its micro-economic and macro-economic objectives.
b. With reference to the above statement, discuss the usefulness of the policies adopted by the government to achieve its economic objectives.


Q4(a) Explain the economic case for free trade between countries.
Q4(b) Discuss whether governments should be concerned about changes to a country’s balance of payments position brought about by globalisation.
(globalisation & trade)


Q5 Discuss whether globalisation will always improve a country’s economic performance and standard of living. [25]


Q6 In 2020, many countries in the world experienced a fall in income. The volume of trade declined by 16% and the World Trade Organization warned of the danger return to forms of protectionism such as tariffs, quotas and export subsidies.

(a) Explain the case for a return to various forms of protectionism in the light of a worldwide fall in income.
(b) Discuss whether alternative policies rather than protectionism might be more appropriate for countries in managing their economies when faced with worldwide fall in income.
(protectionism & recession)


Q7. International trade has allowed for greater market access and brought about partners for development, but has also placed some economies in a more vulnerable position, triggering calls for protectionism.

(a) Explain the possible disadvantages of international trade.
(b) Discuss whether policy makers should adopt protectionist measures to manage the challenges of international trade.
(international trade & protectionism)


Q8. Trade is the framework upon which a nation’s prosperity rests.
To what extent do you agree with the above statement?
(international trade)


Q9. There is substantial evidence, from countries of different sizes and different regions, that as countries “globalize” their citizens benefit.
(Source: IMF Website).

Explain how globalisation has changed Singapore’s pattern of trade and assess whether such changes have benefitted the Singapore economy. [25]


Q10. Globalisation has exacerbated global inequalities, creating prosperity in some parts of the world while claiming livelihoods in others. Overall, benefits have. been unequally distributed and reforms to the global economic system are required.
(Adapted from Oxfam, BBC News, Jan 2013)

Globalisation may have its virtues but it favours the developed countries more than the developing countries. Discuss. [25]


Q11. Many developed and developing countries have experienced increases in within country inequality. The growing income gap has coincided with periods of increasing exposure of countries to globalization through increased flows of goods, services, capital and labour across international borders.

(a) Explain how the trend towards globalisation results in greater income disparity in Singapore.
(b) Assess whether Singapore government’s approach to globalisation should be adjusted in response to her growing income gap.

Q12. Discuss whether a small economy, like Singapore, should embrace globalisation to a larger extent compared to a large economy, like China. [25]


Q13.The North-American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) agreement, linking trade and facilitating investment between the United States, Canada and Mexico, was considered a major accomplishment by President Bill Clinton in 1994. However, many Americans now blame the agreement for the loss of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs.

(a) Explain how Free Trade Agreements such as NAFTA might lead to unemployment and income inequality within a country.
(b) Discuss whether protectionism is the best solution for tackling unemployment and income inequality in a developed country like the USA.
(protectionism & unemployment)


Q14. In 2012, Singapore ranked second on Ernst and Young’s Globalisation Index, a measure of a country’s openness to trade, capital and labour. It is projected that Singapore’s globalisation score will continue rising. However, increase in trade and capital flows are likely to be partially offset by decrease in labour flows.

Discuss how the projected changes above will affect Singapore’s economy. [25]


Q15(a) Analyse how standard of living can be potentially higher with globalization.
Q15(b) Discuss how far the standard of living in Singapore is determined macroeconomic policies.
(globalization & SOL)


Q16(a) Explain why protectionism can be justified by economic theory.
Q16(b) Discuss whether pattern of trade is increasingly consistent with the prediction based on the economic theory.
(protectionism, trade)


Q17(a) Explain the factors that facilitate the move towards globalisation.
Q17(b) Discuss the extent to which globalisation might lower the general price level in an economy.
(globalisation & inflation)


Q18(a) Explain how immobility of factors of production can affect trade between economies.
Q18(b) Assess the extent to which supply factors, rather than demand factors, are the major determinants of trade patterns between Singapore and the rest of the world. [15]



Q19(a) Explain the main forms of protectionsim.
Q19(b) Evaluate the arguments for protectionism in light of the current global economic downturn.
(Some main points: tariffs, quota, tariff diagram, deadweight or welfare loss, trade contagion effect, retaliation, cost of protectionism, ineffective cos PED M < 1, etc)


Q20. Emerging economies tend to suffer from declining terms of trade, while smaller emerging economies tend to experience greater costs and enjoy fewer benefits from globalisation compared to larger emerging countries. Discuss.


Q21. Discuss whether countries should resort to trade protectionism when faced with an economic crisis. [25]


Q22. Assess the view that the benefits of increasing globalization have outweighed the costs for for an economy like Singapore . [25]


Q23. Examine whether the Singapore government currently adopts appropriate policies to minimize the costs of globalization. [25]


Q24. Discuss whether Singapore is among the economies that have most to lose from globalization. [25]


Q25. Critically analyse whether a small and open economy like Singapore or a large and less open economy like USA is impacted more by globalisation. [25]


a) Analyse the effects of changes in exchange rate and interest rates on an economy’s balance of payments. [10]

b) Discuss the view that policies to correct a balance of payments deficit on current account always result in lower standard of living in an economy. [15]


a) Explain how changes in inflation rate and domestic interest rate can cause a deterioration of a country’s balance of payments position. [10]

b) Assess whether policies designed to improve a country’s current account position can improve the standard of living. [15]


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