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Shifting production toward comparative advantage raises total output
Country Shoe Production Refrigerator Production
United States 3,500 26,000
Mexico 6,000 2,500
Total 9,500 28,500

This numerical example illustrates the remarkable insight of comparative advantage: even when one country has an absolute advantage in all goods and another country has an absolute disadvantage in all goods, both countries can still benefit from trade. Even though the United States has an absolute advantage in producing both refrigerators and shoes, it makes economic sense for it to specialize in the good for which it has a comparative advantage. The United States will export refrigerators and in return import shoes.

How opportunity cost sets the boundaries of trade

This example shows that both parties can benefit from specializing in their comparative advantages and trading. By using the opportunity costs in this example, it is possible to identify the range of possible trades that would benefit each country.

Mexico started out, before specialization and trade, producing 4,000 pairs of shoes and 5,000 refrigerators (see [link] and [link] ). Then, in the numerical example given, Mexico shifted production toward its comparative advantage and produced 6,000 pairs of shoes but only 2,500 refrigerators. Thus, if Mexico can export no more than 2,000 pairs of shoes (giving up 2,000 pairs of shoes) in exchange for imports    of at least 2,500 refrigerators (a gain of 2,500 refrigerators), it will be able to consume more of both goods than before trade. Mexico will be unambiguously better off. Conversely, the United States started off, before specialization and trade, producing 5,000 pairs of shoes and 20,000 refrigerators. In the example, it then shifted production toward its comparative advantage, producing only 3,500 shoes but 26,000 refrigerators. If the United States can export no more than 6,000 refrigerators in exchange for imports of at least 1,500 pairs of shoes, it will be able to consume more of both goods and will be unambiguously better off.

The range of trades that can benefit both nations is shown in [link] . For example, a trade where the U.S. exports 4,000 refrigerators to Mexico in exchange for 1,800 pairs of shoes would benefit both sides, in the sense that both countries would be able to consume more of both goods than in a world without trade.

The range of trades that benefit both the united states and mexico
The U.S. economy, after specialization, will benefit if it: The Mexican economy, after specialization, will benefit if it:
Exports fewer than 6,000 refrigerators Imports at least 2,500 refrigerators
Imports at least 1,500 pairs of shoes Exports no more than 2,000 pairs of shoes

Trade allows each country to take advantage of lower opportunity costs in the other country. If Mexico wants to produce more refrigerators without trade, it must face its domestic opportunity costs and reduce shoe production. If Mexico, instead, produces more shoes and then trades for refrigerators made in the United States, where the opportunity cost    of producing refrigerators is lower, Mexico can in effect take advantage of the lower opportunity cost of refrigerators in the United States. Conversely, when the United States specializes in its comparative advantage of refrigerator production and trades for shoes produced in Mexico, international trade allows the United States to take advantage of the lower opportunity cost of shoe production in Mexico.

Questions & Answers

Compare and contrast between Natural and Artificial Resources and their ultimate impacts in an economy. Give one example to support your discussion.
Angela Reply
Exemple: Diamant or uranium, fer, calcaire
Ramadan
how does interest rate affect aggregate output
kelvin Reply
what is Keynesian theory
kelvin
need a curves for typical isoquost and isoquant
kelvin
what is isoquant
kelvin
isoquat is a curve shows differnt combinations of two inputs which can produce same level of output
Majid
examples of giffen goods
Getrude
then what isoquost
Peter
, if the price of an essential food staple, such as rice, rises it may mean that consumers have less money to buy more expensive foods, so they will actually be forced to buy more rice.
Peter
that's an example
Peter
majid Khan that's the wrong definition of isoquant
The
you are defining isocost
The
isocost curve is a locus of points that shows the different combinations of commodities purchased by a consumer with a fixed budget
The
The change in fiscal policy leads to an increased level of output and interest rates is because an increase in government expenses directly affects aggregate demand. A decline in taxes result in more disposable income, consequently leading to a rise in consumption expenditure.
Peter
dats for kelvin
Peter
dats d answer for the audio how does interest rate affect aggregate output
Peter
question not audio
Peter
u are right joker
Peter
what is journal entry?
Abel
explain the nature of economics
Matilda Reply
interpret micro economic issues
Matilda
ito ang dami ng producto na nais handa at kanyang ibenta ng isang prodyuser
Jomar Reply
i dont understand
Gaabshe
even I also don't understand ..this language.. vn I converse everybody say farzana ur language is not understood by all user? now no one there is question about it?
shaikh
he is saying that "this is the amount of product it wants to be ready and sells by a producer"
Aman
I Merr has knowledge,which is the economiccircuit role in a society
Ramadan
What is diminishing returns?
Shadrach Reply
explain competitive demand
ADENIJI Reply
the demand that are compiting for sale. the buyer can substitute one for another good
Iftikhar
yg
Margarette
the demand where commodities fight for the market. in this type of demand, commodities can be substituted for the most suitable one subject to ( price, consumers choice, consumers income etc)
WILSON
Demand is said to be competitive when a commodity that is needed to satisfy wants in place of another similar goods. increase in price of a commodity X will result in increase in demand of the substitute (commmodity Y).
yusuf
examples of giffen goods are garri (cassava), maize
yusuf Reply
what is Public Finance?
kweku Reply
it's basically the field of economics that deals with the government's involvement in the economy; from spending to maybe interest rate manipulation, etc.
Matthew
examples of giffen goods
Getrude
i want to get the solutions of problems how i get kindly give guidance
Syeda Reply
please give some suggestions about getting solutions of all chapters...
Syeda
hard work
Iftikhar
and the grace of God
The
knowledge skills
MUSA
Syeda Economics is difficult. No all fields are difficult
The
what is Keynesian
AKINOLA
Keynesian economics is the theory proposed by Keynes( an economist). He proposed to manipulate demand side factors to bring economy out of depression in 1930s.
Champro
whose totaly oppossid the government intervention and give importance to agreegad demand
Iftikhar
Good afternoon my fellow forum brothers and sisters
Abdullahi Reply
no just want to know true God
Suprim
Good afternoon!!
Martha
hey is there somebody single n young like me bcoz I'm looking for
Suprim
what is facing trade offs
Nancy Reply
It is giving up a commodity to purchase another commodity
The
for example, when we have two commodities like chicken and turkey you can trade off of give up chicken to purchase turkey
The
that can also be called foregone goods
AKINOLA
it like opportunity cost
AKINOLA
it's like trade by batter
Abdullahi
Do you transform into thesecourses, in french people?
Ramadan
I can just speak french andI can just speak french and no english
Ramadan
what is elastic
Tida Reply
elastic is the change in to price and change in demand
ehtesham
Is the percentage change in quantity demand and quantity supply.
Robert
Or percentage change in price of demand and supply
Robert
Right
ehtesham
Robert Mensah you are explaining elasticity of demand
The
robert i think he talk about elastic releated to elasticity of price a proportionate change in price over qd
Iftikhar
can anyone explain what happrn her i don't understand anything
Brahim
is the percentage change in demand as price change
MUSA
sometimes price is elastic,inelastic
The
price elasticity is different from price being elastic
The
elasticity is not always the percentage change in demand as a result of changes in price. there's income elasticity and cross elasticity so it's not necessarily always price
The
elastic is when a change in price of a commodity results in a relatively a larger proportion change in the quantity demand of the commodity
Nancy
what is inelastic
Tida Reply
price is said to be inelastic when it is less than 1
The
what is national income accounting
Aisha Reply
National income is the income earned by all factors of production..
Majid
So this benefits the workers or the businesses?
Neil
Like whose income are we talking about here
Neil
what is multiplier
Khalid
Good & services manufactured in a country with in one year is calld national income
Fani
incom earned by using of sources of production is national income while i dont know the accounting insuch
Iftikhar
neil and aisha can u explain the turm accounting in such question
Iftikhar
I think when we include accounting national income accounting is the measurement of total goods and services produced in an economy in a given period of time
The
what is mutual funds
Khalid Reply
it is a combination of financial securities such as treasury bills , bonds etc in one managed by an institution that individuals and firms invest in for profit. it is usually a long term investment and is seen as a low risk investment because the financial instruments invested in, are diversified.
Ekeanyanwu
A mutual fund is a professional managed investment that pools money from many investors to invest.
Malik

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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