One country may be more productive than others in all goods, in the sense that it can produce any good using fewer inputs such as capital and labor than other countries require to produce the same good.
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Even a country that is more efficient has absolute advantage in everything it makes would benefit from trade. One hour of labor can produce either three kilograms of steel or two shirts.
One hour of labor can produce either one kilogram of steel or one shirt. Country A is more efficient in both products. Now suppose Country B offers to sell Country A two shirts in exchange for 2.
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To produce these additional two shirts, Country B diverts two hours of work from producing two kilograms steel. Country A diverts one hour of work from producing two shirts. It uses that hour of work to instead produce three additional kilograms of steel. Overall, the same number of shirts is produced: Country A produces two fewer shirts, but Country B produces two additional shirts. However, more steel is now produced than before: Country A produces three additional kilograms of steel, while Country B reduces its steel output by two kilograms.
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The extra kilogram of steel is a measure of the gains from trade. Though a country may be twice as productive as its trading partners in making clothing, if it is three times as productive in making steel or building airplanes, it will benefit from making and exporting these products and importing clothes. Its partner will gain by exporting clothes—in which it has a comparative but not absolute advantage—in exchange for these other products see box.
The notion of comparative advantage also extends beyond physical goods to trade in services—such as writing computer code or providing financial products. Because of comparative advantage, trade raises the living standards of both countries. Differences in comparative advantage may arise for several reasons. In the early 20th century, Swedish economists Eli Heckscher and Bertil Ohlin identified the role of labor and capital, so-called factor endowments, as a determinant of advantage.
The Heckscher-Ohlin proposition maintains that countries tend to export goods whose production uses intensively the factor of production that is relatively abundant in the country. Countries well endowed with capital—such as factories and machinery—should export capital-intensive products, while those well endowed with labor should export labor-intensive products.
Economists today think that factor endowments matter, but that there are also other important influences on trade patterns Baldwin, Recent research finds that episodes of trade opening are followed by adjustment not only across industries, but within them as well.
International Trade: Commerce among Nations
The increase in competition coming from foreign firms puts pressure on profits, forcing less efficient firms to contract and making room for more efficient firms. Expansion and new entry bring with them better technologies and new product varieties. Likely the most important is that trade enables greater selection across different types of goods say refrigerators. This explains why there is a lot of intra-industry trade for example, countries that export household refrigerators may import industrial coolers , which is something that the factor endowment approach does not encompass.
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A number of former FT journalists have gone on to high-profile jobs in journalism, politics and business. Dominic Lawson went on to become editor of the Sunday Telegraph until he was sacked in Andrew Adonis , a former education correspondent, became an adviser on education to the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair , and was given a job as an education minister and a seat in the House of Lords after the election. Ed Balls became chief economic adviser to the Treasury, working closely with Gordon Brown , the chancellor of the exchequer or finance minister , before being elected a Member of Parliament in , and became Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in July He was a key figure in the newspaper's transformation from hot metal to electronic composition and then onto full-page pagination in the s.
Sir Geoffrey Owen was the editor of the Financial Times from to He continues his work there. News Dallas Morning News. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Media of the United Kingdom List of newspapers. William Ramage Lawson Albert George Cole Sir Gordon Newton Sir Geoffrey Owen London portal Journalism portal.
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