Comparative Advantage in International Trade - Deepstash

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Comparative Advantage Definition

Comparative Advantage in International Trade

Certain countries have unique strengths, local resources and talent that can be a comparative advantage to them, and make products at a cheaper cost than other countries. If they indulge in protectionism, the end result is higher costs and inefficiency for all.

Example: China has a low opportunity cost to produce simple consumer goods due to the cheap labour it employs, and countries like France and America do not need to focus on simple goods, so are able to make sophisticated products like rockets, cars and ships.

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Marginal Benefit vs. Marginal Cost
Marginal Benefit vs. Marginal Cost

Marginal benefit and marginal cost are two measures of how the cost or value of a product changes.

  • The marginal benefit is a measurement from the consumer
Marginal Benefit

A marginal benefit change in a consumer's advantage if they use an additional unit of a good or service.

A marginal benefit usually declines as consumption increases. For example, the consumer may buy one ring for $100, but only willing to buy another if the second ring is $50. The consumer's marginal benefit reduces from $100 to $50 from the first to the second good.

Marginal Cost

Producers consider marginal cost, which is the small but measurable change in the expense to the business if it produces one additional unit.

In producing a product, efficiency in productivity can result in making more products in the same amount of time. The cost of raw materials may also go down if it is purchased in bulk, therefore, decreasing the marginal cost.

A financial crisis
A financial crisis

A financial crisis is often associated with a panic or a bank run where investors sell off assets or withdraw money from savings accounts.

  • Asset prices drop in value.
  • Consu...
Causes of a financial crisis

Generally, a crisis is caused if institutions or assets are overvalued, and can be worsened by panic and herd-like investor behaviour.

Contributing factors include systemic failures, unexpected or uncontrollable human behaviour, regulatory absence or failures, or contagions that is like a virus that spread from one institution or country to the next. If left unchecked, an economic crisis can cause a recession or depression.

Financial crisis examples
  • The Stock Crash of 1929. On Oct. 24, 1929, share prices collapsed after a period of wild speculation and borrowing to buy shares. It led to the Great Depression, which was felt worldwide. One trigger of the crash was a drastic oversupply of commodity crops, which led to a steep decline in prices.
  • The 20007-2008 Global Financial Crisis. This was the worst economic disaster since the Stock Market Crash of 1929. It started with a subprime mortgage lending crisis in 2007. Then it moved into a global banking crisis with the failure of investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008.