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On the distribution of authorship-merits for the comparative-advantage proposition

  • Morales Meoqui, Jorge

Due to a better understanding of the logical interrelationships between the comparative- advantage proposition, the classical rule of specialization and the proposition regarding the non- appliance of the labor theory of value in international exchanges in Ricardo’s famous numerical example in the Principles, it is now possible to arrive to a definite conclusion regarding the longstanding academic debate about the true author of the comparative-advantage proposition. Torrens is not entitled to the same amount of merit as David Ricardo with regard to the comparative-advantage proposition since he fell short of formulating a full prove of it prior to the publication of Ricardo’s Principles. In the 1815 example of English cloth being traded for Polish corn, Torrens missed to apply the classical rule of specialization for Poland. For the featured international exchange to take place, though, there has to be gains from trade for both trading partners. More importantly, Torrens also failed to recognize the crucial role of Ricardo’s insight regarding the non-appliance of the law of value in international exchanges in proving the comparative-advantage proposition. Therefore, the bulk of the authorship-merit for this proposition rightly belongs to Ricardo.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 35905.

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Date of creation: 12 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35905
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  1. Jorge Morales Meoqui, 2011. "Comparative Advantage and the Labor Theory of Value," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 43(4), pages 743-763, Winter.
  2. Murray C. Kemp & Masayuki Okawa, 2006. "The Torrens-Ricardo Principle of Comparative Advantage: an Extension," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 466-477, 08.
  3. Roy J. Ruffin, 2002. "David Ricardo's Discovery of Comparative Advantage," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 727-748, Winter.
  4. Morales Meoqui, Jorge, 2010. "Smith's and Ricardo's common logic of trade," MPRA Paper 27143, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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