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Final Exam


The final exam will be distributed on Friday, 8 May. It will be due (via email) by 5:30 PM on Wednesday, 13 May. In total, the exam should not take more than a few hours to complete.

The questions on this exam will be based on the discussion questions considered each week. (Indeed, the questions may even be precisely the same.) The best method of exam preparation will thus be to diligently develop responses to the discussion questions while preparing for the discussions, to take good notes during discussion, and to expand and revise one’s notes after the discussions. Suffice it to say, those students who have kept up throughout the term will not find many surprises. Those who have not may find themselves working more during the exam period than they would like.

Policies and Procedures

All of the standard rules–word counts, tardiness penalties, and formatting guidelines–apply for this exam. You can review those policies here. Additionally, please note the following for this final exam:

  • This is an exam, and I remind you to treat it as such. While I encouraged you to help one another with the essay assignments, I would like you to complete this exam entirely on your own. Please remember that the honor code applies, as always.
  • I will happily answer clarification questions; but I would like you to develop the substance of your responses on your own.
  • Please include individual word counts for each answer. Each question has its own word limit and will be scored separately.

Exam Deadline

Lastly, please do not wait until the last minute to submit the exam. I have obliged myself to continue being strict in enforcing the tardiness penalties. I will do so with the exam as well. If you submit the exam more than 24 hours in advance, I commit to confirming its receipt before I go to bed that evening. I will also try to confirm receipt of the essays on an ongoing basis, but I will be away from email periodically. Remember that the closer you come to that deadline, the smaller the margin of error–and the window for redressing such errors!–becomes. If you have any problems and/or doubts, send me a separate email (without attachments) to make inquiries and try to call me (650.380.9978 and 802.443.5442).


Exam Questions

Respond to the three following prompts within the prescribed word limits. When writing this exam, remember to answer all of the questions raised by each prompt. (Do not ignore any of the questions within the prompts!) This is different from writing an essay in which you construct and defend an argument. Here your purpose is to simply to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding by answering pitched questions.

(1) Answer either (a) or (b) in less than 400 words.

  • (a) What did Locke see as the trade-offs between using wheat as a measure of value and using precious metals? What would have been the implications of pegging England’s exchange rate to the value of wheat instead of precious metals
  • (b) How does Adam Smith explain the creation of political society? How does this view compare with the account given by John Locke in the Second Treatise? What do these differing views imply for each theorist’s understanding of the role of government regulation of the economy?

(2) To a large extent, the international economic order that emerged after the Second World War was forged jointly by Great Britain and the United States. Both shared a common vision for the postwar international economic order, but they did not always agree on how to best bring that vision into being. How would you describe that shared vision? How did the order they sought to build contrast with previous global economic orders? What were their major disagreements about trade and the monetary system? What was the compromise that was reached? How would you explain their decision to settle on that compromise versus any of the other possible compromises? Respond to all of these questions in no more than 650 words (total).

(3) Answer either (a) or (b) in less than 650 words.

  • (a) So-called “structural theories” (addressed in Class 3 and elsewhere) have historically enjoyed a special prominence in the field of IPE. As you have seen, such theories have been used to explain both international trade and the international monetary system. This question will challenge you to consider whether such theories work the same in both sub-subfields of IPE (trade and money). How does Krasner’s understanding of the influence of the distribution of power on trade compare to Kindleberger’s understanding of the influence of the distribution of power on the international monetary system? Do international international regimes operate the same in both the realms of trade and money?
  • (b) J. Marcus Fleming suggested that the “balance of payments rationale”  has frequently motivated states to manage their trade and commerce. Milton Friedman similarly suggested that the same pressures ought to encourage states to choose one type of exchange rate regime rather than another. In Topic 2, we considered several types of explanations of foreign economic policy. Among those explanations, how would you fit in the “balance of payments rationale”? Compared to the other potential influences on foreign economic policy, how influential has the “balance of payments rationale” been in shaping previous trends in trade and foreign monetary policy? In so far as policy makers have had to prioritize one over the other, which has traditionally been given priority? Which is given priority today?

(4) John Locke and John Maynard Keynes in a cage match. Who would win? (2 words)

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