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producers, consumers , competitive market

The above applications are just a few areas where international ideas can be introduced in a relatively simple manner early in the course. No doubt you can think of many other examples that can serve equally just as well. For example, an analysis of a competitive market can include discussion of the point at which an input imported from nations with a comparative advantage in the production of the input can lower the average cost of production of each firm in the domestic industry. A lower long-run average cost for each firm will in the long run make the domestic industry larger and the price of the good using the input lower, much like technological progress. Another possibility is introducing the effects of immigration on the labor market and the production possibility frontier.

Although the earlier introduction of international economics into the AP Microeconomics course is not a perfect substitute for the in-depth treatment we hope to provide at the end of the course, it can usefully complement that in-depth treatment with little loss of time. For many of us, early exposure might also ease the end-of-semester crunch. Just as important, it can help students understand, and help us remember, that the principles of analysis underlying the distinct and complex field of international economics are the same, familiar concepts we apply in microeconomics.