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By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Asses the complexity of international trade
  • Discuss why a market-oriented economy is so affected by international trade
  • Explain disruptive market change

Economists readily acknowledge that international trade is not all sunshine, roses, and happy endings. Over time, the average person gains from international trade, both as a worker who has greater productivity and higher wages because of the benefits of specialization and comparative advantage, and as a consumer who can benefit from shopping all over the world for a greater variety of quality products at attractive prices. The “average person,” however, is hypothetical, not real—representing a mix of those who have done very well, those who have done all right, and those who have done poorly. It is a legitimate concern of public policy to focus not just on the average or on the success stories, but also on those have not been so fortunate. Workers in other countries, the environment, and prospects for new industries and materials that might be of key importance to the national economy are also all legitimate issues.

The common belief among economists is that it is better to embrace the gains from trade, and then deal with the costs and tradeoffs with other policy tools, than it is to cut off trade to avoid the costs and tradeoffs.

To gain a better intuitive understanding for this argument, consider a hypothetical American company called Technotron. Technotron invents a new scientific technology that allows the firm to increase the output and quality of its goods with a smaller number of workers at a lower cost. As a result of this technology, other U.S. firms in this industry will lose money and will also have to lay off workers—and some of the competing firms will even go bankrupt. Should the United States government protect the existing firms and their employees by making it illegal for Technotron to use its new technology? Most people who live in market-oriented economies would oppose trying to block better products that lower the cost of services. Certainly, there is a case for society providing temporary support and assistance for those who find themselves without work. Many would argue for government support of programs that encourage retraining and acquiring additional skills. Government might also support research and development efforts, so that other firms may find ways of outdoing Technotron. Blocking the new technology altogether, however, seems like a mistake. After all, few people would advocate giving up electricity because it caused so much disruption to the kerosene and candle business. Few would suggest holding back on improvements in medical technology because they might cause companies selling leeches and snake oil to lose money. In short, most people view disruptions due to technological change as a necessary cost that is worth bearing.

Now, imagine that Technotron’s new “technology” is as simple as this: the company imports what it sells from another country. In other words, think of foreign trade as a type of innovative technology. The objective situation is now exactly the same as before. Because of Technotron’s new technology—which in this case is importing goods from another county—other firms in this industry will lose money and lay off workers. Just as it would have been inappropriate and ultimately foolish to respond to the disruptions of new scientific technology by trying to shut it down, it would be inappropriate and ultimately foolish to respond to the disruptions of international trade by trying to restrict trade.

Questions & Answers

who gave the concept of perfect competition in economics?
Sandeep Reply
 Léon Walras gave the first definition of perfect competition   
ADITYA
no, it was me😂
Nancy
What is Indifference curve?
Ch
Perfect competition is an idealized market structure that achieves an efficient allocation of resources.
Daauud
what are the conditions for determining the nature of goods in partial differentiation
Unique
what is economics
Arman Reply
is a science which study human behaviour as relationship between ends and scarce means hav altenative uses
Herieth
what are the other factors of demand
Aysher Reply
what are other factors in demand
Aysher
What is price elasticity of demand
Ghulam Reply
ok
debashis
what makes a country to be operating within the PPC
The Reply
two different product that are being are being produced efficiently
Othusitse
what is quartile
sukhdeep Reply
quartile occurs as a numerical probabilistic aspect such as quartile 1,2 or 3.
Othusitse
what will happen ifvwe will increase the price
Harleen Reply
due to increase the price the demand redeuce to related product
abdullah
the higher the price leads to low quantity to be demanded
Herieth
what is demand change
George
When price of any commodity change than demand is automatically change. Prince and demand have direct relationship.
Ch
what is long run?
Cabdulahi Reply
what will be the price
Harleen Reply
how the price determined in oligopoly?
Sahil Reply
what are the main problems in the market!?
Baby Reply
Price effect is a combination of income and substitution effect discuss
saroj Reply
Randy how IC energetic is superior to utilise energetic
saroj
why economics is undependent subject?
Yohanissy Reply
Why?
Ch
What's the scope of Economic?
Ch
What's Economic scope?
Ch
what is c.s p.s and market efficency
Raghu
what is scope of economics
Herieth Reply
Scope of economic?
Ch
it consist of *subject matter of economics *normative and positive *economics problem solving * science and arts
Herieth
A few days ago i get admission in MS.C economic. How i grip it?
Ch
in which university you take admission?
Shoaiq
I get admission in a acadme.And that is relevate with Peshawar university.
Ch
Pertinent bro
Muafue
Did anybody have Macroeconomic nd Microeconomic's'notes?
Ch
how economics is a particular kind of economising!?
Baby
i hav notes of microeconomics
Herieth
human touch has entirely missing(means wat as criticsm of robbin definition
Herieth
what is demand?
Cabdulahi
what is econamic goods and services
Yohanissy Reply
efinition of Goods & Services for Economics. Goods and services represent an important term in basic economics. Goods are tangible things that can be consumed, such as clothes and food. Services are actions people perform, such as haircuts or cleaning services.
Landing
Services can't be measured or weigh goods is tangible process
Racheal
What is a Martket?
Landing
Marketing : managing a profitable customer relationship.
Cabdulahi
market; a point where trade is made or an exchange: like buying and selling. An ice cream in exchange for a coin. Anywhere can be a market. That's how markets are established.
Christoef
Market : the set of actual and potential buyers of product or service.
Cabdulahi
what is demand ?
Cabdulahi
Is the Consumer desire and ability to purchase goods or services
Racheal
Demand refers to the desire to buy a commodity backed by willingness and ability to purchase that commodity at a given point of time. According to Prof RG Lipsey, “The amount of a commodity that households wish to purchase is called the quantity demanded of that commodity”
Landing

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Source:  OpenStax, Microeconomics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11627/1.10
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