<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

The economic gains from expanding international trade are measured in hundreds of billions of dollars, and the gains from international trade as a whole probably reach well into the trillions of dollars. The potential for gains from trade may be especially high among the smaller and lower-income countries of the world.

Visit this website for a list of some benefits of trade.

From interpersonal to international trade

Most people find it easy to believe that they, personally, would not be better off if they tried to grow and process all of their own food, to make all of their own clothes, to build their own cars and houses from scratch, and so on. Instead, we all benefit from living in economies where people and firms can specialize and trade with each other.

The benefits of trade do not stop at national boundaries, either. Earlier we explained that the division of labor could increase output for three reasons: (1) workers with different characteristics can specialize in the types of production where they have a comparative advantage; (2) firms and workers who specialize in a certain product become more productive with learning and practice; and (3) economies of scale. These three reasons apply from the individual and community level right up to the international level. If it makes sense to you that interpersonal, intercommunity, and interstate trade offer economic gains, it should make sense that international trade offers gains, too.

International trade currently involves about $20 trillion worth of goods and services moving around the globe. Any economic force of that size, even if it confers overall benefits, is certain to cause disruption and controversy. This chapter has only made the case that trade brings economic benefits. Other chapters discuss, in detail, the public policy arguments over whether to restrict international trade.

It’s apple’s (global) iphone

Apple Corporation uses a global platform to produce the iPhone. Now that you understand the concept of comparative advantage, you can see why the engineering and design of the iPhone is done in the United States. The United States has built up a comparative advantage over the years in designing and marketing products, and sacrifices fewer resources to design high-tech devices relative to other countries. China has a comparative advantage in assembling the phone due to its large skilled labor force. Korea has a comparative advantage in producing components. Korea focuses its production by increasing its scale, learning better ways to produce screens and computer chips, and uses innovation to lower average costs of production. Apple, in turn, benefits because it can purchase these quality products at lower prices. Put the global assembly line together and you have the device with which we are all so familiar.

Key concepts and summary

Tariffs are placed on imported goods as a way of protecting sensitive industries, for humanitarian reasons, and for protection against dumping. Traditionally, tariffs were used as a political tool to protect certain vested economic, social, and cultural interests. The WTO has been, and continues to be, a way for nations to meet and negotiate through barriers to trade. The gains of international trade are very large, especially for smaller countries, but are beneficial to all.


If trade increases world GDP by 1% per year, what is the global impact of this increase over 10 years? How does this increase compare to the annual GDP of a country like Sri Lanka? Discuss. Hint : To answer this question, here are steps you may want to consider. Go to the World Development Indicators (online) published by the World Bank. Find the current level of World GDP in constant international dollars. Also, find the GDP of Sri Lanka in constant international dollars. Once you have these two numbers, compute the amount the additional increase in global incomes due to trade and compare that number to Sri Lanka’s GDP.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!


World Trade Organization. “The Doha Round.” Accessed October 2013. http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dda_e/dda_e.htm.

The World Bank. “Data: World Development Indicators.” Accessed October 2013. http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators.

Questions & Answers

what is the difference between explicit cost and implicit cost
ustaz Reply
explicit cost:it is the cost which company made for purchasing or hiring resources from the factor owner. implicit cost : the cost of the owner of the company pay for the project.
explicit cost is that cost which is identified by the books of accounts of an organisation
implicit cost is that cost which is not shown in the books of accounts but due to this cost organisation gets some benefits
what is supply
What is price elasticity of demand?
Kanishka Reply
price elasticity of demand is a measure used in economics to show elasticity of quantity demanded of good or service to get a change in it's price while nothing but price changes.
Price elasticity of demand is a measure of the change in the quantity demanded of a product in relation to its price change Price elasticity of demand = % change in quantity demand / % change in Price
Pls where can I found PRICE CONTROL on this app
Samuel Reply
top left corner
A situation in an economy with one producer but many consumers
Kabali Reply
What is the theory of population according to Malthus?
What is the Malthusian population theory?
The Malthusian theory of population state that, where there are means of substinence like food, human beings have the tendency to procreate (ie.give birth) without restraint (ie. control).
he stated that population unchecked grows at a geometric progression ie 1,2,4,8,16 while the means food subsistence grows at arithmetic progression ie 1,2,3,4,5---- he declared that population has the tendency to outstrip the means of subsistence
What is money?
money is any commodity that act as a medium of exchange
money is medium of exchange which is use in taking goods and giving some of it's worth or money value
what is a debit card and a credit card?
a debit card is a payment card used instead of cash while purchasing
a credit card is a payment card issued to users to enable cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services
oky tanx
What is an inferior good.?
In economics, an inferior good is a good whose demand decreases when consumer income rises (or demand rises when consumer income decreases), 
what is monopoly
Richmond Reply
a market situation when there is only one seller of a product representing whole industry.
where one business is the dominant one in that market. It determines the market price as they are price makers. No entry, no competition.
it is a market situation where is a single seller and many buyer hear the seller is the price maker the is no free entering and exit in this market
A situation in the economy where there is one producer and many consumers
A market situation where there is one producer and many consumers.
Balance of payments for 2018
Mahlatse Reply
what is monopoly and what is monopolaist
Javid Reply
what is the affect of rise in value of dollar ?
monopoly"a single firm or company owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service "monopoly is a price maker ...barrier of entry ,non availability of close substitute.
monopolistic competition or market is a situation where there are few or many firm producing identical but differentiated product .eg difference in advertisement ,packing etc
monopolistic competition or market is a situation where there are few or many firm producing identical but differentiated product .eg difference in advertisement ,packing
monopoly is a market situation ...where there is a single seller and large number of buyers deals with commodities having no close substitutes......here the sellers are price makers... there is restrictions in the entry and exit of new firms in this market structure....
what is money?
money is a medium of exchange.....through which...commodities are bought and sold
money is a medium/means of exchange that generally accepted by law
What is tranfer earnings
what is savings income?
transfer earning is the minimum income that a factor is willing to accept in an occupation,it is also call the supply price of a factor
what is envelope curve
what is depreciation
depreciation means decrease in value of a assets due to normal wear or year ,means decrease in value of assets like a machine due to its daily use
Refers to wear and tear of capital machinery
what is meant by currency depreciation?
an envelope curve is also call an umbrella curve it is any curve that is enclosed by being tangen t to a series of other curves
fall in the value of currency vis-a-vis any other currency usually $ due to marker forces is called currency depreciation. it is different from devaluation where in value of currency is deliberately reduced to improve BoT
depreciation in its broad sense means loss in the value of fixed capital say a tractor due to i) normal wear and tear ii) normal rate of accidental damage iii) expected absolescence to meet this, Depereciation Reserve Fund is created it is calculated by firms on the basis of their experience.
what is green revolution ?discuss the achievement of green revolution in India
Sweety Reply
green revolution is the third revolution of agricultural refers to a set of research and development of technology transfer initiative occuring between 1930s and the late 1960s that increased agricultural is called green revolution
the green revolution happened because to improve the agricultural sector towards adopting mordern methods and improvement of agricultural equipments
green revolution means new innovation for high yielding varieties seeds towards economic development in agriculture sector. started in 1966, it's achievement increase per productive of all crops ie rice, wheat,maiz,etc...mainly 131 million food grain in 1978-79 produced in india
Punjab and haryana was the first 2 states which have been successfully adopted hyv's and due to this adoption these two states find more successfull in india and it contributed though our national income and also to GDP growth this helps in development of our nation.
what calculation for demand and supply
Amoo Reply
what is nationalisation
Awuni Reply
it is a process of converting private assets into public assets by undertaking the control of government or state authority
so true
what are some the things that may lead to nationalisation
Over exploring of customers by the private individuals Also to make the nationalised organisation social reliable and accessible by all
feeling of one's is called nationalisation. unity among them self .
anything which is widely acceptable as a medium of exchange
Shabana Reply
money ,currency
Hello plz,what is the full mean of tertiary?
al Reply
tertiary also called philoshper
tertiary means third..for example primary sector ,secondary and tertiary sector... means three number..
ru 9ice tnk
your most welcome.
what is money
what is a bank
a financial institution which holds money for its clients ,which collect deposit and lend money at interest and trades generally in money...
what is bankers draft ?kindly explain with example .
money "anything which is widely acceptable as a medium of exchange"
yes u ryt #shabana
difference between cost and price
Shallow definition
cost"the value of input that is the amount of money which is used to produce a good or service . price"an amount of money which has to b paid to buy something.
Tertiary is an adjective(pre position) for stages or levels and refers to "top, final, full term ." ; Advanced.
bank draft is a type of cheque which a person buy for to pay someone who is not willing to accept a personal cheque .
tertiary sector is an providing any kind of services.
primary sector is 'agriculture', secondary sector is ' industrial sector ,and the tertiary sector is ,' service sector' ,
subana are you understand now the meaning of bank draft?
what is golden- diamond paradox
what is occupational structure
Madhu Reply
occupational structure refers to the distribution of occupation on the basis of educational ,socoial ,income level in a society or economy
no that is not a exact meaning
than what is exact meaning
It refers to also the what is the average income of the person
what is deficit
Obiajunwa Reply
deficit = expenses > revenue
yeah expenses over revenue results in deficit
What is What is Equilibrium
Bright Reply
from business point of view it is that point where business revanu are equal to its expenses.
in economy where demand is equal to supply is called equalibrium
Equilibrium in economics is where quantity demanded is equal to quantity supplied
what are the objectives of devaluation

Get the best Principles of economics course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Principles of economics' conversation and receive update notifications?