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BA7020 International Money and Finance

FACULTY OF BUSINESS AND LAW

BA7020: INTERNATIONAL MONEY AND FINANCE

Assessment- Group Report 3,000 words (50% of total mark)

Students are required to work in groups of 2 or 3 and prepare a report of no more than 3,000 words (excluding graphs, tables and references) which should cover the following topics 1:

a) Examine what accounts for the swings in a country’s current account balance over time.

Review the theory and provide empirical evidence in your discussion. (40% of total mark)

Examine. Look in close detail and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding a topic. This should be a critical evaluation and you should try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues you have identified are the most important, as well as explain the different ways they could be construed.

b) Analyse the balance of payments (of a country of your choice) for the period 2010-2017

(data can be accessed from the IMF-BOPS database). The analysis should include examinations (presentations of statistical data with discussion based on theory, empirical evidence from journal articles, and examples from the market) of the current account balance and capital/financial account balance. Document the trends you observe, investigate the economic factors which might account for the changes in the balances, and link the changes in the balance of payments data with theory, empirical evidence and the prevailing economic conditions. (60% of total mark)

In your report it is important that you use (a) your own graphs/tables of the data for the balance of payments, (b) your analysis of the data, the theory and of the empirical results from journal articles in order to articulate/justify your arguments, and finally, (c) referencing of academic value (textbooks and journal articles). There is plenty of analysis about the balance of payments data from government agencies. BUT I am marking your analytical abilities and your ability to integrate theory and results from prior empirical evidence in your analysis of the data.

On the cover page of the assignment please include the Kingston University numbers of the group members (not the names). Only one member from each group will submit the final work.

Your report should show that:

  • There is an excellent understanding of all aspects of the report.
  • The answers are complete and convincingly argued and free from any errors of fact or argument.
  • All major sources are clearly referenced, well summarised and integrated in your discussion. Don’t simply mention what other studies find, but incorporate their findings in your discussion/analysis.
  • Clear signs of critical intelligence and independent judgement. There must be clear evidence of critical comment.
  • Excellent use of relevant statistics (graphs, tables, descriptive statistics etc.) to illustrate and articulate your arguments.
  • The statistics should be intelligently used to support/contradict your arguments and to explain the past/current economic developments.
  • An excellent bibliography (for example, use finance/economics textbooks and a wide range of journal articles). Use Harvard style referencing.
  • The layout of the report is completely clear and concise, and your writing has a good flow.
  • The presentation of the information shows some originality in approach.
  • Your discussion should avoid quoting long passages taken directly from other sources. It is your ability to analyse the balance of payments data I am marking and it is your analytical skills the marker is assessing.
  • Evidence of great efforts on research and study. Critically analyse previous studies and the results of your data analysis.
  • The tables and graphs need to be clear and meaningful and well integrated in your analysis. When you add something in your report the most important thing that you should think of is what do I want to achieve with that?
  • The report must have a clear structure with conclusions drawn. The layout of the report should be generally clear and concise. The information contained must be well understood. Intelligent presentation of source material is required.
  • Students should demonstrate familiarity with academic and practitioner relevant literature. It is especially appreciated if students can link the theme of the essay to current debates or a recent piece of news (e.g. from Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, The Economist etc.).
  • The starting point of the essay should be some kind of question or puzzle related to ‘real-world’ international finance issues.

Also make sure to avoid:

  • substantial misunderstandings of the material covered.
  • serious errors of fact and judgement.
  • unclear citing of sources
  • your opinion is not a fact without supporting evidence.
  • a confused summary of material from the sources used.
  • a lack of structure and poor synthesis of source material.
  • Inadequate bibliography. Lecture notes and untrustworthy internet sources are not a valid reference. Your references should be of academic value (textbooks and scientific journals.

BLASC ( Business Academic Skills Centre): is a year round provision, based on the first floor of the Nightingale Centre (LRC) and is staffed by Business School staff, PhD and level 6 students. It runs on a drop-in basis, Mondays to Fridays during term time and on an appointment basis at other times. It offers:

  1. One to one feedback on students' draft assignments
  2. 'BLASC in the class': members of the BLASC team work with students on their draft assignments in class.
  3. One off sessions on academic writing, tailored to business students at all levels.
  4. A dedicated Business Academic Skills (Canvas) site which aims to cover all the basics in a series of clear, concise pages in user friendly language, e.g. word count, report structure, the executive summary.

Marking Guidelines

Distinction 70%+

Construct appropriate economic-finance arguments and reason analytically. Critically consider arguments.

Exercise informed and independent thought when analysing the economic data.

Show a wide breadth of theoretical and empirical knowledge.

Sources used with discrimination-Sophisticated use of examples

A wide range of sources consulted -Evidence of a sound discussion of the literature relevant to the study

Original and creative selection and presentation of data

Excellent analysis of key concepts and data demonstrating independence of thought, originality, and a high level of intellectual rigour and consistency

Conclusion advances debates -Extensive evidence of the ability to critically evaluate the main findings

Excellent typography and layout -Lucid expressions -Sophisticated vocabulary -Excellent citation and bibliography norms

Very Good 60%-69%

Overall, the criteria above (under distinction) will be very good rather than excellent. Your work demonstrates a well-developed critical and comprehensive understanding of the topic. It shows evidence that you have thoroughly researched the topic(s) and are able to construct an independent, logical argument or evaluation.

Well selected range of sources consulted -Evidence of a Comprehensive review of the literature relevant to the study -Appropriate examples

Well–researched selection of data; appropriate use of data, very good understanding of the main concepts and topics Appropriate presentation of data.

Good analysis of key concepts; links concepts/theories with data and empirical analysis; well-structured and analytical discussion of literature and data

Clear conclusions -satisfactory evidence of the ability to critically evaluate the main findings

Good typography and layout-Few errors of grammar -Well–structured - Accurate and full citation and bibliography

Good 50%-59%

Overall, the criteria above will be regarded as average rather than very good. Evidence of a satisfactory level of analysis and of use of appropriate sources/techniques/data -Satisfactory knowledge of key concepts, descriptive in parts but some ability to synthesize scholarship and argument.

Evidence of appropriate but standard range of data consulted; logical development of arguments but incomplete.

A range of sources consulted - Indication of a satisfactory review of the literature relevant to the study but with some evident gaps and omissions - Limited range of examples sometimes inappropriate ones

At times the expression and structure of your work is not clear and you have not consistently followed good academic practice (citation and referencing; presentation format; clear, accurate English).

Fail <50%

Your work contains some weaknesses. It provides some evidence that you have understood the topic and that you are able structure arguments or evaluation.

Your work demonstrates some ability in the appropriate use of literature, theory, methodologies, practices or tools but not at Masters level.

Your work fails to address one or more criteria fully.

Your practical works shows that your technical skills are not always adequate for you to complete work at this level.

There is little evidence of a professional approach to your work. Your creative work sticks only to familiar ideas and you have not explored any new territory.

Incomplete grasp of material

Extended poor academic practice

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