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National competitiveness and absolute advantage in a global economy


  • Parrinello, Sergio


Distinguished trade theorists maintain that a national economy cannot be uncompetitive as a whole, contrary to the frequent statements of many politicians, because a country must possess a comparative advantage in some sector according to Ricardo’s principle. In this paper the author arguesthat such a criticism addressed to the notion of national competitiveness neglects a bottom line of a national economy engaged in a global market. In this context, characterized by free capital movements and possible unemployment, absolute productivity and absolute advantage may prevail over relative productivity and comparative advantage and can affect the competitiveness of all productive sectors of a single country. Such a reappraisal of international equilibrium offers a theoretical foundation to the intuitive idea that national competitiveness can be a source of possible economic conflict among the national members of a global economy. Final version of this working paper : S. Parrinello, “ The notion of national competitiveness in a global economy” chapter 4, pp. 49-68, in Economic Theory and Economic Thought, Essays in Honour of Ian Steedman, J. Vint, J. Metcalfe, H. Kurz, N. Salvadori and P.A. Samuelson (eds.). London and New Yor)k: Routledge, 2010.

Suggested Citation

  • Parrinello, Sergio, 2006. "National competitiveness and absolute advantage in a global economy," MPRA Paper 30807, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30807

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ethier, Wilfred J., 1984. "Higher dimensional issues in trade theory," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 131-184 Elsevier.
    2. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
    3. repec:fth:michin:323 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Ariel Dvoskin & German Feldman, 2010. "The Exchange Rate and Inflation in Argentina: A Classical Critique of Orthodox and Heterodox Policy Prescriptions," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 39(2), pages 145-169, July.
    2. Mariolis, Theodore, 2010. "A neo-Ricardian critique of the traditional static theory of trade, customs unions and common markets," MPRA Paper 23088, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    National competitiveness; Globalization; International Trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook


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