International Trade: New Patterns of Trade, Production & Investment

By Nigel Grimwade | Go to book overview

Glossary
Absolute Advantage This refers to a situation where one country is able to produce one or more goods at a lower cost than other countries. Wherever this exists, it pays that country to specialise in those goods at which it is best.
Adjustment This is the process whereby resources shift out of one industry or sector into another industry or sector in response to either changes in the pattern of demand or changes in relative costs of production or changes in international comparative advantage.
Adjustment Costs These are the costs both to the country as a whole and to individuals (workers and investors) that result from the failure of adjustment to take place automatically and instantaneously as a result of an expansion of trade. As adjustment will eventually take place, adjustment costs are essentially short-run costs.
Adjustment Policy This refers to the various measures governments use to re-allocate resources among different sectors in response to changes in relative prices, including those resulting from a growth of import competition. Such policies may seek to speed up the process of adjustment taking place through the market or they may seek to prevent adjustment by directly influencing relative prices.
Barter Trade This refers to any trade which involves some element of reciprocity between countries; that is, in return for A buying from B, B buys from A. Another name for such trade is countertrade. Pure barter involves the direct exchange of goods for goods without the mediation of money.
Bilateralism This is the name given to a situation in which any two countries consciously seek to balance their trade with one another rather than seeking to balance their overall trade with the world as a whole. Such a trade policy is a common feature of trade in state planned economies.
Common Market This is an area characterised by four commercial freedoms—namely, free trade in goods, free trade in services, free movement of labour and free movement of capital. The Single European Market is an example of a common market.
Comparative Advantage This refers to a situation where a country is relatively more efficient at producing at least one product, although it may still be unable to match the absolute level of costs in other countries. However, specialisation will still be worthwhile, since this will enable it to use its resources more efficiently than if it tried to produce all the goods that consumers want.

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