<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

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

  • Identify at least two advantages of intra-industry trading
  • Explain the relationship between economies of scale and intra-industry trade

Absolute and comparative advantages explain a great deal about patterns of global trade. For example, they help to explain the patterns noted at the start of this chapter, like why you may be eating fresh fruit from Chile or Mexico, or why lower productivity regions like Africa and Latin America are able to sell a substantial proportion of their exports to higher productivity regions like the European Union and North America. Comparative advantage, however, at least at first glance, does not seem especially well-suited to explain other common patterns of international trade.

The prevalence of intra-industry trade between similar economies

The theory of comparative advantage suggests that trade should happen between economies with large differences in opportunity costs of production. Roughly half of all world trade involves shipping goods between the fairly similar high-income economies of the United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, and China (see [link] ).

(Source: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/ft900.pdf)
Where u.s. exports go and u.s. imports originate (2015)
Country U.S. Exports Go to ... U.S. Imports Come from ...
European Union 19.0% 21.0%
Canada 22.0% 14.0%
Japan   4.0%   6.0%
Mexico 15.0% 13.0%
China 8.0% 20.0%

Moreover, the theory of comparative advantage suggests that each economy should specialize to a degree in certain products, and then exchange those products. A high proportion of trade, however, is intra-industry trade    —that is, trade of goods within the same industry from one country to another. For example, the United States produces and exports autos and imports autos. [link] shows some of the largest categories of U.S. exports and imports. In all of these categories, the United States is both a substantial exporter and a substantial importer of goods from the same industry. In 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the United States exported $159 billion worth of autos, and imported $327 billion worth of autos. About 60% of U.S. trade and 60% of European trade is intra-industry trade.

(Source: http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/tradnewsrelease.htm)
Some intra-industry u.s. exports and imports in 2014
Some U.S. Exports Quantity of Exports ($ billions) Quantity of Imports ($ billions)
Autos $146 $327
Food and beverages $144 $126
Capital goods $550 $551
Consumer goods $199 $558
Industrial supplies  $507  $665
Other transportation  $45  $55

Why do similar high-income economies engage in intra-industry trade? What can be the economic benefit of having workers of fairly similar skills making cars, computers, machinery and other products which are then shipped across the oceans to and from the United States, the European Union, and Japan? There are two reasons: (1) The division of labor    leads to learning, innovation, and unique skills; and (2) economies of scale.

Questions & Answers

why did nominal GDP rise by morethan real GDP during Q3 of 2020? what accounts for the difference?
Alara Reply
nominal GDP is not adjusted to the inflation, real GDP is adjusted.
Which countries' nominal GDP?
or global GDP? gross world product :) I think that is a relevant detail
nominal GDP use current year in calculation of GDP while real GDP use base year in calculation of GDP,
what is trade
Aqsa Reply
exchange of goods and services
how do u understand real income
lubega Reply
Income that earned by factor of production is called National income
what is trade balance
anyone to shade more light on elasticity demand?
Ashraf Reply
How are the diminishing marginal utility and negatively sloped demand curve related
Siva Reply
what are the types of trade cycle
riziwani Reply
no saving and tax always subtract from NDPmp
Piyush Reply
these are not part of national income
how so?
but it was given
tax always subtracted from?
tax are always subtracted from what?
keynesian consumption function explain and function
Abdullah Reply
is saving and direct taxes part of income method?
then where should it belong?
what is the rules of macroeconomics
Amadou Reply
Q1. Discuss the comparative analysis of different economic systems which are prevalent around the world. Give detail examples of different countries where different economic systems are in operation. Also discuss how these countries solve the three basic economic problems of what, how and for whom to produce.
Sami Reply
as interest rates increase what happens to planned investment and aggregate expenditures
Patrick Reply
what is applied economic
Micheal Reply
what is the Demand curve
how does one analyze a market where both demand and supply shift
Reymark Reply
explain and justify the effect of the event to the demand and supply for direction then apply the elasticity concepts for extent , support with diagrams
objective of macro economic
saroj Reply
give the characteristics of good money?
Chok Reply
convenience, flexibility,......
How consumer satisfy of her wants.
make scale preference method

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play

Source:  OpenStax, Macroeconomics. OpenStax CNX. Jun 16, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11626/1.10
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Macroeconomics' conversation and receive update notifications?