By Fritz Machlup (auth.)
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Extra resources for A History of Thought on Economic Integration
The simplest tests are based on the rule that, in the absence of restrictions, prices for the same commodity will not differ from one place to another by more than the transport cost between these places and, if one of the places in question is the site where the good is produced, the prices should not differ by less than the transport cost. Tests for prices of the same securities on different stock exchanges are even simpler, whereas tests of interest rates for loanable funds are complicated by the fact that various risks -risks of default or future restrictions on payments, exchange risks, etc.
Things would be different, however, if both 1 Students may be easily confused by writers speaking of 'specialisation in the production of good A' without making it clear whether they mean the process of producing more of product A and less of B, or the state of producing only product A (complete specialisation). In the former case, the country merely changes the proportions in which it produces goods A and B; in the latter case, it has abandoned the production of B- which has significant implications for the relevance of certain theorems to be discussed later.
It does not have to be 'complete' specialisation; indeed, interregional and international division of labour with incomplete specialisation may afford the participants benefits that are more substantial and more evenly distributed than complete specialisation is likely to provide. ' Only the first of the four types of specialisation - and, in some limited sense, the second- need involve differences (heterogeneities) in the resources or factors of production available to the trading partners. For the understanding of important principles of trade theory one has to bear in mind that international division of labour can be efficient even without any differences in the gifts of nature, in the characters and talents of people, in the state of the technical arts, in the stock of capital, and even in the proportion of quantities in which any productive resources are available in the different countries; all it takes to make division of labour efficient under such circumstances is that consumers' tastes are different enough to make some factors of production relatively more demanded in one country than in the other.