Benefits of trade liberalisation

Globalisation, Comparative Advantage and the Changing Dynamics of Trade


Globalisation and its effects have been at the forefront of public debate in recent years, fuelled on the one hand by the large benefits of integrated markets, and on the other hand by the detrimental adjustment effects often experienced by many economies as a result. 

Knowing the evolution of trade and the role of government trade policy is critical to understanding globalisation and grasping the lessons for future policy development. 

Comparative advantage is one of the principal theories in understanding international trade and the benefits of trade liberalisation. It has also provided the intellectual basis for most trade policy in the past 50 years.

This book collects OECD work that builds on recent contributions to the theory and empirics of comparative advantage, emphasising the role of policy in shaping trade. It shows that comparative advantage does not lock countries into an economic status quo, but provides the key to future jobs and growth.

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 See also

» Comparative advantage: Doing what you do best (OECD Insights blog)
Famously 'true and non-trivial' as an economic idea, comparative advantage was first proposed by David Ricardo in 1817. This OECD Insights blog post gives you a beginner's guide to this non-trivial theory - and explains why it still holds true today.

» Comparative Advantage and Trade Performance: Policy Implications (OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 121)
Comparative advantage has evolved over time, explains this paper which identifies the factors that determine comparative advantage today and the role that trade policy can play.

» Globalisation and Emerging Economies: Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa
Open trade has served the 'BRIICS' economies very well. Resisting protectionism and reviving stalled trade reforms would help the major emerging economies build on the progress achieved over the past two decades and emerge from the crisis with their trade performance strengthened, says this report.



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