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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

What is traoff
Oumie Reply
It's tariff not traoff
DASRAT
I mean Tradeoff
Oumie
these problems of scarcity are been face by household companies and nation at large
Muafue Reply
will you please explain it more😭
kainat
i am economist and i need helping to be perfect person in that field
Dr
okay
kainat
Hey
DASRAT
yup
kainat
hi
louh
scarcity is inevitable as it ensures sanity and sanctity among men. it's alled 'the Lord's act'. The issue of the victims is just a simple one of Cause and Effect. Somebody or entity must be a recipient of whatever.
tolu
scarcity of resources
kainat Reply
4y1yg
Dr
?
kainat
Hello 😊
Sherwin
hello
Monde
I wanna know something
kainat
what is the meaning of scarcity of resources in microeconomics ?😢
kainat
it's mine assignment .. I have to submit it before Friday n i m much confused about it
kainat
limited in supply relative to demand
Muafue
n what about their factors ? like.. what to produce how to produce & for whom to produce
kainat
& thanks😊😊
kainat
these problems of scarcity are been face by household companies and nation at large
Muafue
elasticity of supply
tolu Reply
determinants of elasticity of supply
Lalit Reply
The price elasticity of supply =%Change in quantity supplied
Nkosingiphile
%♢qty ss of A/ %♢ in price of A
tolu
Cross elasticity % %♢ in qty of A/ %♢ in price of B
tolu
How does market failure arise from the characteristics of public goods
Linda Reply
can i be the part of discussion
Zahoor
feel free
Michel
us. finite is the meaning amount of resources avaible . of the. only. good. finite amount of there I only point the is I want you to be on my side
Samantha Reply
there are how many types of demand?
Young Reply
dicejd sacracrity what that mean
Samantha Reply
vacation laughing meditiin joke I made if pasted I was going on vaction
Samantha
1- how to determine the optimal level of output and price in the short run? 2-how to calculate the economic profit (loss) the firm will obtain(incure)in monopolistic competition faces short run demand and cost functions as Qd=20-0.5P and TC=4Q -8Q+15
Kalid Reply
its hair care firm but tinted it doesn't natraully grow in the two week spand so you put cap on top and or weave so it grow natural to cover a patch
Samantha
what is asset ?
Rather Reply
something u own or valuable
Michel
In Accounting, asset is anything that is owned by the business.
James
economic item used for father more production
Dicklearz
give the dimand equation QD=24-2p find the inverse dimand equation
Kadir
it huge score its of hair care hydge
Samantha
invest ment on one self
Samantha
proudtion is product of personal apprences quality is guilty I go to the shop
Samantha
sometimes I go to the shop my hair solono lady past
Samantha
so I have quipt my self to handle thing of higher in quality my self
Samantha
when there in avabilty
Samantha
Or in avible
Samantha
what asset my apprences is improvement is my its my priduct
Samantha
product
Samantha
falls under self growth and worth
Samantha
what is Asset your market value of your top roman
Samantha
Discuss the following questions in detail. 1, Suppose a firm operating under a perfectly competitve market structure is in its equilibrium. Does mean the firm is making excess profit?if no, show the possibilities regarding the amount of profit under equilibrium position. 2, Discuss the distinction b
Sura Reply
in long run a perfectly competitive firm is making only normal profits ,
Rather
Can I be part of this discussion?
James
of course
Rather
what is microeconomics
Jnana Reply
Workout. Show the steps clearly. 1, Suppose a firm in a perfectly competitive market structure has the following total cost function, ( TC=6000+4Q-24Q the power 2 + 4Q the power 3 ) if market ptice is 40, find A, Equilibrium level of output produced by the firm in order to maximize its profit. B,
Sura Reply
Discuss the following questions in detail. 1, Suppose a firm operating under a perfectly competitve market structure is in its equilibrium. Does mean the firm is making excess profit?if no, show the possibilities regarding the amount of profit under equilibrium position. 2, Discuss the distinction b
Sura
given the dimand equation QD=24-2p find the inverse dimand equation ?
Kadir Reply
you m.i.l subject
Raj
you know m.i.l subject
Raj
giveTc 10=+6Q-0 ,9Q2+0.05Q3 then calculated the following Tvc Avc ATC MC and AFC
Kadir
answer
Kadir
What is Tradeoff
Oumie Reply

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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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