Utility and All That: And Other Essays

By D. H. Robertson | Go to book overview

13
THE TERMS OF TRADE1

He said 'I hunt for haddocks' eyes
Among the heather bright,
And work them into waistcoat-buttons
In the silent night.
And these I do not sell for gold
Or coin of silvery shine,
But for a copper halfpenny,
And that will purchase nine.

I sometimes dig for buttered rolls,
Or set limed twigs for crabs;
I sometimes search the grassy knolls
For wheels of Hansom-cabs.
And that's the way' (he gave a wink)
'By which I get my wealth--
And very gladly will I drink
Your Honour's noble health!"

'Song of the aged aged man', Through the Looking-Glass

THE purpose of this note is confined to setting out in a somewhat and manner certain elementary matters of (1) terminology and pure theory, to serve as a background to, and perhaps a check upon, more juicy and realistic discussion. I have purposely suppressed all references and acknowledgments.
THE VARIOUS MEANINGS OF A CHANGE IN THE TERMS OF TRADE
(2) If it is said that, between two dates, the terms of trade between one area P and another area Q (which may be the rest of the world) have moved in favour of P, it would seem that any one of at least three things can reasonably be meant.
A. There has been an increase in the volume of imports received from Q in exchange for each unit of P's exports.
B. There has been an increase in the number of units of productive power in Q over whose products a unit of productive power in P can exercise command.
C. There has been an increase in the volume of imports from Q over which a unit of productive power in P can exercise command.
____________________
1

A background paper for a discussion on the problem of long-term international balance held by the International Economic Association at Monaco, September 1950. Published in The International Social Science Bulletin, Spring 1951.

-174-

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Utility and All That: And Other Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 9
  • Part I 11
  • 1 - UTILITY AND ALL THAT 13
  • 2 - THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 42
  • 3 - ON STICKING TO ONE'S LAST 60
  • 4 - REVOLUTIONIST'S HANDBOOK 66
  • Part II 81
  • 5 - WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE RATE OF INTEREST 83
  • 6 - SOME NOTES ON THE THEORY OF INTEREST 97
  • 7 - BRITISH NATIONAL INVESTMENT POLICY 116
  • Part III 133
  • 8 - THE PROBLEM OF EXPORTS 135
  • 9 - DOES BRITAIN FACE COLLAPSE? 140
  • 10 - WESTERN EUROPEAN ECONOMIC UNION 148
  • 11 - BRITAIN AND EUROPEAN RECOVERY 157
  • 12 - BRETTON WOODS 169
  • 13 - THE TERMS OF TRADE1 174
  • Part IV 183
  • 14 - IS THERE A FUTURE FOR BANKING? 185
  • 15 - NEW LIGHT ON AN OLD STORY 192
  • 16 - STABLE MONEY 201
  • INDEX OF PERSONS 206
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