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经济代写|国际经济学代写International Economics代考|ECON4190 The Law of Comparative Advantage

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经济代写|国际经济学代写International Economics代考|The Law of Comparative Advantage

According to the law of comparative advantage, even if one nation is less efficient than (has an absolute disadvantage with respect to) the other nation in the production of both commodities, there is still a basis for mutually beneficial trade. The first nation should specialize in the production and export of the commodity in which its absolute disadvantage is smaller (this is the commodity of its comparative advantage) and import the commodity in which its absolute disadvantage is greater (this is the commodity of its comparative disadvantage .

The statement of the law can be clarified by looking at Table $2.2$. The only difference between Tables $2.2$ and $2.1$ is that the United Kingdom now produces only 2 yards of cloth per hour instead of 5 . Thus, the United Kingdom now has an absolute disadvantage in the production of both wheat and cloth with respect to the United States.

However, since U.K. labor is half as productive in cloth but six times less productive in wheat with respect to the United States, the United Kingdom has a comparative advantage in cloth. On the other hand, the United States has an absolute advantage in both wheat and cloth with respect to the United Kingdom, but since its absolute advantage is greater in wheat $(6: 1)$ than in cloth $(4: 2)$, the United States has a comparative advantage in wheat. To summarize, the U.S. absolute advantage is greater in wheat, so its comparative advantage lies in wheat. The U.K.’s absolute disadvantage is smaller in cloth, so its comparative advantage lies in cloth. According to the law of comparative advantage, both nations can gain if the United States specializes in the production of wheat and exports some of it in exchange for British cloth. (At the same time, the United Kingdom is specializing in the production and exporting of cloth.)

Note that in a two-nation, two-commodity world, once it is determined that one nation has a comparative advantage in one commodity, then the other nation must necessarily have a comparative advantage in the other commodity.

So far, we have stated the law of comparative advantage in words and then restated it with a simple numerical example. However, we have not yet proved the law. To do so, we must be able to show that the United States and the United Kingdom can both gain by each specializing in the production and exporting of the commodity of its comparative advantage.
To start with, we know that the United States would be indifferent to trade if it received only $4 \mathrm{C}$ from the United Kingdom in exchange for $6 \mathrm{~W}$, since the United States can produce exactly $4 \mathrm{C}$ domestically by utilizing the resources released in giving up $6 \mathrm{~W}$ (see Table $2.2$ ). And the United States would certainly not trade if it received less than $4 \mathrm{C}$ for $6 \mathrm{~W}$. Similarly, the United Kingdom would be indifferent to trade if it had to give up $2 \mathrm{C}$ for each $1 \mathrm{~W}$ it received from the United States, and it certainly would not trade if it had to give up more than $2 \mathrm{C}$ for $1 \mathrm{~W}$.

To show that both nations can gain, suppose the United States could exchange $6 \mathrm{~W}$ for $6 \mathrm{C}$ with the United Kingdom. The United States would then gain $2 \mathrm{C}$ (or save $1 / 2$ hour of labor time) since the United States could only exchange $6 \mathrm{~W}$ for $4 \mathrm{C}$ domestically. To see that the United Kingdom would also gain, note that the $6 \mathrm{~W}$ that the United Kingdom receives from the United States would require six hours to produce in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom could instead use these 6 hours to produce $12 \mathrm{C}$ and give up only $6 \mathrm{C}$ for $6 \mathrm{~W}$ from the United States. Thus, the United Kingdom would gain $6 \mathrm{C}$ or save 3 hours of labor time. Once again, the fact that the United Kingdom gains more from trade than the United States is not important at this point. What is important is that both nations can gain from trade even if one of them (in this case the United Kingdom) is less efficient than the other in the production of both commodities.

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