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Absolute Advantages and Capital Mobility in International Trade Theory


  • Bellino, Enrico

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart))

  • Fratini, Saverio M.

    (Roma Tre University)


In this paper we will focus upon the role of absolute advantages in international specialization in connection with the phenomenon of capital mobility. We will provide a historical and analytical reconstruction of the main contributions, starting from the contrast between Smith’s and Ricardo’s standpoint on the issue. Two deep-rooted conclusions will be questioned by the analysis of this literature: (a) the unequivocal mutual benefits of opening up to international trade; and (b) the specialization of each country in the production of at least one good. With regard to this point, we will also provide a generalization of a result obtained by Parrinello (2010).

Suggested Citation

  • Bellino, Enrico & Fratini, Saverio M., 2019. "Absolute Advantages and Capital Mobility in International Trade Theory," Centro Sraffa Working Papers CSWP38, Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione "Piero Sraffa".
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:sraffa:0038

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    Cited by:

    1. Machado, Pedro S. & Trigg, Andrew B., 2021. "On absolute and comparative advantage in international trade: A Pasinetti pure labour approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 375-383.
    2. Parrinello, Sergio, 2022. "On Some “New” Interpretations of Ricardo’s Principle of Comparative Advantages," Centro Sraffa Working Papers CSWP60, Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione "Piero Sraffa".
    3. Dvoskin, Ariel & Ianni, Guido, 2021. "Produced means of production and the chain of comparative advantages," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 635-647.
    4. Deng, Kent & Shen, Jim Huangnan & Guo, Jingyuan, 2022. "Performance and mechanisms of the Maoist economy: a holistic approach, 1950-1980," Economic History Working Papers 116401, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    5. Luis Daniel Torres-Gonzalez & Jacobo Ferrer-Hernandez & Adrian Martınez, 2022. "On the Long-Run Neutrality of Profits-Wages Ratios in the Determination of International Relative Prices Under Absolute Advantages," Working Papers 2208, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    capital mobility; absolute advantage; specialization.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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