International finance (also referred to as international monetary economics or international macroeconomics) is the branch of financial economics broadly concerned with monetary and macroeconomic interrelations between two or more countries.
International finance examines the dynamics of the global financial system, international monetary systems, balance of payments, exchange rates, foreign direct investment, and how these topics relate to international trade. Sometimes referred to as multinational finance, international finance is additionally concerned with matters of international financial management. Investors and multinational corporations must assess and manage international risks such as political risk and foreign exchange risk, including transaction exposure, economic exposure, and translation exposure.
Sometimes referred to as multinational finance, international finance is additionally concerned with matters of international financial management. Investors and multinational corporations must assess and manage international risks such as political risk and foreign exchange risk, including transaction exposure, economic exposure, and translation exposure.
The economics of international finance does not differ in principle from the economics of international trade, but there are significant differences of emphasis. The practice of international finance tends to involve greater uncertainties and risks because the assets that are traded are claims to flows of returns that often extend many years into the future. Markets in financial assets tend to be more volatile than markets in goods and services because decisions are more often revised and more rapidly put into effect. There is the share presumption that a transaction that is freely undertaken will benefit both parties, but there is a much greater danger that it will be harmful to others.
For example, mismanagement of mortgage lending in the United States led in 2008 to banking failures and credit shortages in other developed countries, and sudden reversals of international flows of capital have often led to damaging financial crises in developing countries. And, because of the incidence of rapid change, the methodology of comparative statics has fewer applications than in the theory of international trade, and empirical analysis is more widely employed. Also, the consensus among economists concerning its principal issues is narrower and more open to controversy than is the consensus about international trade.
International or foreign trading is arguably the most important factor in the prosperity and growth of economies that participate in the exchange. The growing popularity and rate of globalization have magnified the importance of international finance. Another aspect to consider, in terms of international finance, is that the United States has shifted from being the largest international creditor (lending money to foreign nations) and has since become the world’s largest international debtor; the United States is taking money and funding from organizations and countries around the world. These aspects are key elements of international finance.International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product (GDP). While international trade has been present throughout much of history (see Silk Road, Amber Road), its economic, social, and political importance has been on the rise in recent centuries.
Industrialization, advanced transportation, globalization, multinational corporations, and outsourcing are all having a major impact on the international trade system. Increasing international trade is crucial to the continuance of globalization. Without international trade, nations would be limited to the goods and services produced within their own borders.
International trade is, in principle, not different from domestic trade as the motivation and the behavior of parties involved in a trade do not change fundamentally regardless of whether trade is across a border or not. The main difference is that international trade is typically more costly than domestic trade. The reason is that a border typically imposes additional costs such as tariffs, time costs due to border delays and costs associated with country differences such as language, the legal system or culture.
Another difference between domestic and international trade is that factors of production such as capital and labor are typically more mobile within a country than across countries. Thus international trade is mostly restricted to trade in goods and services, and only to a lesser extent to trade in capital, labor or other factors of production. Trade in goods and services can serve as a substitute for trade in factors of production.
Instead of importing a factor of production, a country can import goods that make intensive use of that factor of production and thus embody it. An example is the import of labor-intensive goods by the United States from China. Instead of importing Chinese labor, the United States imports goods that were produced with Chinese labor. One report in 2010 suggested that international trade was increased when a country hosted a network of immigrants, but the trade effect was weakened when the immigrants became assimilated into their new country.
International trade is also a branch of economics, which, together with international finance, forms the larger branch of international economics.
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