International Trade Ricardo and Comparative Advantage: The Classical Model of Trade
Issues in International Trade • Initial attempt to understand two of the important issues in trade theory. • Gains from Trade • Pattern of Trade • Use insight of Adam Smith about different advantages in production across countries. • Focus on comparative, rather than absolute, advantage as source of pattern & gains from trade
Classical Model Assumptions • Fixed endowment of labor in each country. • Labor completely mobile within a country. • Labor completely immobile between countries. • Commodity value determined by labor content. • Technology fixed but differs across countries. • Prod’n costs constant, do not depend on quantity. • Full employment of labor, perfect competition. • No tariffs or transportation costs. • Two country, two commodity world.
Constant Cost Technology • Ricardo (1817) viewed mutual gains from trade possible based on comparative advantage. • Example above Portugal has absolute advantage in both goods, but trade still possible as England is relatively more productive in cloth than wine.
Absolute vs. Comparative Advantage • Absolute Advantage • A country has an absolute advantage in good X if one unit of labor produces more X than is produced by one unit of labor in the other country. • Comparative Advantage • A country has an comparative advantage in good X if its opportunity cost of X in terms of Y is less than in the other country • In previous example Portugal has an absolute advantage in both goods but a comparative advantage in wine.
Opportunity Costs and Advantage • Comparative advantage arises from differing opportunity costs across countries. • With total labor fixed, producing more of one good (Cloth) means producing less of other good (Wine). • Tradeoff is opportunity cost and differs between the two countries. • England • 1 more unit of cloth requires giving up 5/6 unit of wine. • Portugal • 1 more unit of cloth means giving up 4/3 units of wine. • England’s comparative advantage is producing cloth, while Portugal’s comparative advantage is in producing wine.
Ricardian Comparative Advantage • Assume each country has 120 units of labor. • Table shows all feasible combinations of cloth and wine for each country in autarky.
Gains from Trade • Now trade opens with terms of trade equal to 1W:1C • England specializes. Produces only cloth. • England exports cloth to Portugal in exchange for imports of wine. • At least as well off as in autarky. • Same results for Portugal. Mutual gains from trade.
Relative Wages • Assume unit of cloth & unit of wine sell for €12. • After trade: • English workers specialize in cloth, receive €1.20/hr (€12 for 10 hrs work) • Portuguese workers specialize in wine, receive €2.00/hr (€12 for 6 hours work) • Relative wage of English workers is 60% of that of Portuguese workers. • Note English workers are: • 50% as productive as Portuguese workers in wine and • 80% as productive as Portuguese workers in cloth • Relative wage lies between these two productivities.
International Trade Visualizing Comparative Advantage
Visualizing Comparative Advantage • Rather than rely on numerical examples can develop model visually to demonstrate results. • Technology: (Constant Costs) • aLX = # units of labor for 1 unit of X. (a*LXfor foreign) • aLY = # units of labor for 1 unit of Y. (a*LYfor foreign) • aLXqX + aLYqY = Ltotal(a*LXq*X + a*LYq*Y = L*total) • Tastes: • Each country possesses community indifference curves, UH for Home and UF for foreign. • Maximize utility subject to production constraints determined by technology and labor endowment.
L*/a*LY L/aLY aLX AF aLY UF AH UH L*/a*LX L/aLX Equilibrium in Autarky Y Y Home Foreign aLX/ aLY < a*LX /a*LY X X
Prices, Wages & Production • Prices, Wages, & Production • Let PX and PY be the price of each good. • Perfect competition implies wage to worker equals value of output produced, PX/aLX or PY/aLY • Labor mobility implies: • If PX/aLX > PY/aLY, or equivalently when PX/ PY > aLX /aLY then economy produces only X. • If PX/aLX < PY/aLY, or equivalently when PX/ PY < aLX /aLY then economy produces only Y. • In autarky, economy must produce both goods so relative prices of goods must equal their relative unit labor requirements, i.e. px = PX/ PY = aLX /aLY.
QF L*/a*LY L/aLY CF CH AF U’F U’H UF AH UH QH L*/a*LX L/aLX Potential Gains from Trade Y Y Home Foreign X X
Foreign Exports Home Imports Home Exports Foreign Imports Equilibrium and Trade Equilibrium occurs at relative price that makes the two triangles equal Y Y Home Foreign QF L*/a*LY L/aLY CF AF CH U’F U’H UF AH UH QH X L/aLX L*/a*LX X
Determining Terms of Trade • How can we determine exactly what the relative price will be in equilibrium with trade? • Terms of trade for a country: • Ratio of the price of its export commodity to the price of its import commodity. • In our example, terms of trade for Home are PX/PY, and PY/PX for Foreign. • Number of analytical tools to determine the equilibrium relative price ratio with trade. • K&O focus on Relative Demand and Supply analysis.
Relative Demand and Supply • Relative analysis focuses on ratio of prices PX/PY & ratio of total quantities (qX+ q*X)/(qY+ q*Y). • Relative Demand: • Rise in PX/PY makes X more expensive relative to Y. • Substitution away from X towards Y, leads to downward-sloping Relative Demand Curve, RD. • Relative Supply: • If PX/PY < aLX /aLY : no Good X produced. • If PX/PY = aLX /aLY : Home produces X as demanded. • If a*LX /a*LY > PX/PY > aLX /aLY : Home specializes in X. • If PX/PY > a*LX /a*LY : Both Home & Foreign produce X.
a*LX/a*LY RS 1 RD aLX/aLY 2 RD’ (L/aLX)/(L*/aLY) Relative Demand and Supply Relative Price of X PX/PY Relative Quantity of X (qX+ q*X)/(qY + q*Y)
Results of Trade • Mutual Gains from Trade • Trade enlarges the range of consumption choices for each nation over autarky. • Absolute vs. Comparative Advantage • Gains arise from specializing in producing goods in which have a comparative (not absolute) advantage. • Trade & Specialization • Expect trade to lead nation to specialize in prod’n. • Relative Wages • What matters for trade is relative wage versus relative labor productivities.
Shortcomings of Ricardo Model • Classical approach has serious shortcoming, in that it assumes rather than explains comparative advantage. • Classical model does not explain why labor productivities differ between nations. It is these differences which are the source of comparative advantage. • Ignores how relative resource endowments change as countries grow (constant costs assumption). • Benefits of trade come from more efficient use of domestic resources through specialization. • Specialization can have negative aspects if it results in a lopsided pattern of growth within a developing country. • May produce an export enclave rather than a well-balanced economy.
Statements to Address • Productivity & Competitiveness “Free trade is beneficial only if your country is strong enough to stand up to foreign competition.” • Pauper Labor “Foreign competition is unfair and hurts other countries when it is based on low wages.” • Exploitation “Trade exploits a country and makes it worse off if its workers receive much lower wages than workers in other countries.”
Tabella 2-3: Variazioni dei salari e dei costi del lavoro per unità di prodotto
International Trade Appendix: Small Country vs. Large Country Gains from Trade
Does Trade Exploit Small Nations? • Examine effects of opening trade between a large economy and a small economy. (Think NAFTA) • Is it true that the large nation will use its economic clout to exploit the small nation? • Next slide examines this case. • SC = Small Country, LC = Large Country • Begin with both nation’s in autarky, ASC and ALC. • Open trade, change relative prices to find equilibrium (equal trade triangles) between the countries. • Equilibrium with trade (Consumption, Production) given by (CSC, QSC) and (CLC, QLC) • Surprising results for Small vs. Large Country.
LC production point with trade QLC LC Exports SC Imports SC consumption point with trade U’SC QSC LC Imports SC Exports Large/Small Country Y Small Country = SC Large Country = LC LC consumption point in autarchy & trade CLC CSC ULC ASC X
Summary of Small vs. Large Country • Small Economy • Receives maximum gains available by opening trade. • As a price-taker, it trades at the relative prices set by the large economy. • Completely specializes in good for which it has the comparative advantage. • Large Economy • Receives no gains from trade with small nation. • No change in its production constraint. • Produces both goods after trade, though more of good in which it has comparative advantage.
Trade in Multi-Commodity World • Both countries consume and can produce N types of goods • Pattern of trade in multi-commodity world depends on relative labor requirements versus ratio of relative wages. • Goods will be produced were it cost less to produce them: good i will be produced in country H ifwaLi<w*a*Li or w/w*<aLi/a*Li
Trade in Multi-Commodity World • Pattern of trade in multi-commodity world depends on relative labor requirements versus ratio of relative wages. • Cost advantage: whenever relative productivity > relative wages • Also can see effects of change in exchange rate or relative wages on the pattern of trade.
Effects of Change in Relative Wages • Increase in Home wage rate, decrease in Foreign wage rate, or rise in exchange rate (home currency more valuable) • Makes home country goods more expensive, reduces the number of goods exported by the home country.
RS RD = Relative Derived Demand for labor RS = Relative Supply of labor, L/L* Cloth a*LC/aLC Wine (We/W*)eq Bread Cheese Tools RD Determining the Relative Wage Relative Wage , We/W* Relative Quantity of Labor L/L*
Evidence on Comparative Advantage • MacDougall (1951) • Looked at ratio of labor productivity US vs. UK plotted against export volume ratio, US vs. UK. • Found that higher relative productivity for US vs. UK associated with higher export volume for US vs. UK in that industry. • In addition found that relative productivity above relative wage associated with higher export volume. • Similar results obtained by Balassa(1963) and Stern (1962)
Introduzione dei costi di trasporto e dei beni non commerciati • Ci sono tre ragioni principali per le quali la specializzazione nell’economia internazionale reale non è estrema: • l’esistenza di più di un fattore produttivo. • i paesi talvolta proteggono i settori dalla concorrenza straniera. • il trasporto di beni e servizi è costoso. • L’introduzione dei costi di trasporto rende alcuni beni non commerciati. • In alcuni casi, il trasporto è virtualmente impossibile. • Esempio: servizi quali il taglio dei capelli o la riparazione dell’automobile non possono essere commerciati internazionalmente.
Limitations of model What are the limitations of model? Model assumes full specialization What are the sources of labour productivity? Capital? Need to include other factors of production What about transport costs? Income distribution: Model predicts that all factors gain Cannot explain intra-industry trade
Relative productivity in W (leather) Relative productivity in Y (cloth) Relative productivity in X (coffee) Relative productivity in Z (apples) Non-tradable products produced by both Home and Foreign Relative wage = WH/WF Schematic: Transport costs With transport costs, goods at the margin no longer become profitable to trade