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The range of trades that benefit both the united states and saudi arabia
The U.S. Economy, after Specialization, Will Benefit If It: The Saudi Arabian Economy, after Specialization, Will Benefit If It:
Exports no more than 60 bushels of corn Imports at least 10 bushels of corn
Imports at least 20 barrels of oil Exports less than 60 barrels of oil

The underlying reason why trade benefits both sides is rooted in the concept of opportunity cost, as the following Clear It Up feature explains. If Saudi Arabia wishes to expand domestic production of corn in a world without international trade, then based on its opportunity costs it must give up four barrels of oil for every one additional bushel of corn. If Saudi Arabia could find a way to give up less than four barrels of oil for an additional bushel of corn (or equivalently, to receive more than one bushel of corn for four barrels of oil), it would be better off.

What are the opportunity costs and gains from trade?

The range of trades that will benefit each country is based on the country’s opportunity cost of producing each good. The United States can produce 100 bushels of corn or 50 barrels of oil. For the United States, the opportunity cost of producing one barrel of oil is two bushels of corn. If we divide the numbers above by 50, we get the same ratio: one barrel of oil is equivalent to two bushels of corn, or (100/50 = 2 and 50/50 = 1). In a trade with Saudi Arabia, if the United States is going to give up 100 bushels of corn in exports, it must import at least 50 barrels of oil to be just as well off. Clearly, to gain from trade it needs to be able to gain more than a half barrel of oil for its bushel of corn—or why trade at all?

Recall that David Ricardo argued that if each country specializes in its comparative advantage, it will benefit from trade, and total global output will increase. How can we show gains from trade as a result of comparative advantage and specialization? [link] shows the output assuming that each country specializes in its comparative advantage and produces no other good. This is 100% specialization. Specialization leads to an increase in total world production. (Compare the total world production in [link] to that in [link] .)

How specialization expands output
Country Quantity produced after 100% specialization — Oil (barrels) Quantity produced after 100% specialization — Corn (bushels)
Saudi Arabia 100   0
United States   0 100
Total World Production 100 100

What if we did not have complete specialization, as in [link] ? Would there still be gains from trade? Consider another example, such as when the United States and Saudi Arabia start at C and C', respectively, as shown in [link] . Consider what occurs when trade is allowed and the United States exports 20 bushels of corn to Saudi Arabia in exchange for 20 barrels of oil.

Production possibilities frontier in saudi arabia

On this graph, Corn is on the x-axis with a maximum production of 25 bushels and oil is on the y-axis with a maximum production of 100 barrels. Saudi Arabia begins producing and consuming at point C (coordinates 10, 60). If the “trade price” is 20 barrels of oil for 20 bushels of corn, the Saudis end up at D (coordinates 30, 40).
Gains from trade of oil can increase only by achieving less from trade of corn. The opposite is true as well: The more gains from trade of corn, the fewer gains from trade of oil.

Starting at point C, reduce Saudi Oil production by 20 and exchange it for 20 units of corn to reach point D (see [link] ). Notice that even without 100% specialization, if the “trading price,” in this case 20 barrels of oil for 20 bushels of corn, is greater than the country’s opportunity cost, the Saudis will gain from trade. Indeed both countries consume more of both goods after specialized production and trade occurs.

Visit this website for trade-related data visualizations.

Key concepts and summary

A country has an absolute advantage in those products in which it has a productivity edge over other countries; it takes fewer resources to produce a product. A country has a comparative advantage when a good can be produced at a lower cost in terms of other goods. Countries that specialize based on comparative advantage gain from trade.


France and Tunisia both have Mediterranean climates that are excellent for producing/harvesting green beans and tomatoes. In France it takes two hours for each worker to harvest green beans and two hours to harvest a tomato. Tunisian workers need only one hour to harvest the tomatoes but four hours to harvest green beans. Assume there are only two workers, one in each country, and each works 40 hours a week.

  1. Draw a production possibilities frontier for each country. Hint : Remember the production possibility frontier is the maximum that all workers can produce at a unit of time which, in this problem, is a week.
  2. Identify which country has the absolute advantage in green beans and which country has the absolute advantage in tomatoes.
  3. Identify which country has the comparative advantage.
  4. How much would France have to give up in terms of tomatoes to gain from trade? How much would it have to give up in terms of green beans?
Got questions? Get instant answers now!


Krugman, Paul R. Pop Internationalism . The MIT Press, Cambridge. 1996.

Krugman, Paul R. “What Do Undergrads Need to Know about Trade?” American Economic Review 83, no. 2. 1993. 23-26.

Ricardo, David. On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation . London: John Murray, 1817.

Ricardo, David. “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.” Library of Economics and Liberty. http://www.econlib.org/library/Ricardo/ricP.html.

Questions & Answers

what is taxation
K.visor Reply
levy paid by eligible individuals and companies to the government
A means by which governments finance their expenditure by imposing charges on citizens and corporate entities. Governments use taxation to encourage or discourage certain economic decisions.
a source of economic revenue in which working citizens pay levy which varies from one individual to the other.
monies paid by residents of a country to the government in which the residents benefit indirectly
it's the government, looking for funding to create public goods and services so that everyone can be happy.
what is taxation?
jacob Reply
In simple term. Taxation can be defined as compulsory payment levy on company or individual by the government. It can be direct or indirect.
what is capital
disadvantage of money
Bigdreamz Reply
Please any Ghanaian schooling at KNUST?
Prince Reply
combining factors of production is the role of
Richard Reply
the situation in economic where by a more valuable good is sold at a low price while less valuable good is sold at a higher price .how can we describe this situation in economic
price discrimination
deman and supply
price discrimination
causes of high elasticity of demand
Onyango Reply
causes of high elasticity of supply
what is optimazation
what is trade offs
A trade-off  is a situational decision that involves diminishing one quality, or property of a design in return for gains in other aspects.
what is indifference curve ?
its represnted by the loops of points and gives same level of satisfaction
what is enterpreneurship
Entrepreneurship is the talent, knowledge and willingness individual has to engage in an activity that can result in new kind of firm
what is the short run industry supply curves?
I think there' s a mistake. P = - 0.4 + 0.2Qs is the supply curve and not the demand curve. Am I correct?
Valeria Reply
Qs is quantity supplied
This is what I think
this eaquation is supply curve Qs=P-0.4 the relationship is positive when the price increase the Qs increase....
since Qs is quantity supplied P= -0.4 + 0.2Qs =>P +0.4=0.2Qs =>P/0.2 + 0.4=Qs I made Qs the subject of the formula or equation. So your answer is correct
P = -0.4 + 0.2Qs is the same as P/0.2+0.4=Qs Price has a direct relationship with the quantity supplied i.e the higher the price the higher the quantity supplied. that is why it is +0.4(this is the quantity and it is postive) and P/O.2(is the price and it is positive).
For the demand equation let me give an example 0.2P-0.4=Qd. Here the P is postive(+0.2) and the quantity which is -O.4 is negative( because of the negative sign(-) there is an inverse relationship between price and quantity. For quantity demanded the higher the price the lower the quantuty.
It's how I understand it
0.2P-0.4=Qd. the equation is wrong because the price have direct ralationship Quantity demanded but the correct equation is-0.2P -0.4=Qd so the higher price the lower Quantity
I think the relationship is inverse because of the negative sign(-)
ok You mean the price and quantity demanded should be negative(inverse relationship) for Qd and the price and quantity supplied should be postive(direct relationship) for Qs
thank you for the correction
yes because it got a positive gradient of +0.2
This is the mistake I found: "Since P is on the vertical axis, it is easiest if you solve each equation for P. The demand curve is then P = 8 – 0.5Qd and the demand curve is P = –0.4 + 0.2Qs. Note that the vertical intercepts are 8 and –0.4, and the slopes are –0.5 for demand and 0.2 for supply."
dear price do not depend on quantity. rather quantity depends on price. so the equation should be Qty=0.2Px-0.4
please can someone generate supply equation for me
David Reply
where p is price, Pr is price of related goods, G is goals of a firm E is supplier's future expectation of prices,Z is other related factors, Pf is cost of factors of production.
I think it's wrong
if Qd=90-p Qs=90+p
the coefficient of price must be positive since supply curve is positively slopping
it's true. thank you
OK, thank you
no one can do that, you must determine the the key factors for the commodity, like price, income, prices of alternative commodity, and other factors, if you want the main equation, you must have 4 values, 2 values for each quantity and price, for one commodity
diagram of perfectly inelastic
Muhd Reply
this platform is okay
chi-square test is used to test A. Analysis of variance B. Association between the qualitative variables C. Difference between means of two distribution drawn from the same population D. Difference between the means of two distribution drawn from different population
Syk Reply
the Answer Should Be D
The answers is D
Thank you
What is economic?
is the system that study the difference between resources and the growth population
Economics studies humanbehaviour as a relation between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
rigth .....but economic has different concepts
what is equilibrium
Obed Reply
it is that point where price is equal to output or rather a point where demand is equal to supply
it is a point where consumer get maximum satisfaction and producers maximise profit or minimise loss
supply equal demand in one point
it's a point where supply and demand meets/equal whether profit or loss
how to compute budget constraint
Kristine Reply
how to calculate balance of payment deficit
How to calculate National income
what is indifference curves
what,how and for whom to produce
kunle Reply
those are problem that producer face in the process of production due to scarcity
a particular selected product is produced in a systematic hygiene condition and is produced for the customers.
what are the factors of economic growth?
Povuuro Reply
tax, imports and exports, etc
Explain the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty?
moses Reply

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