自由贸易和昂贵爱情

伦敦—12月的世界贸易组织巴里部长级会议非全球贸易带来了些许鼓励。世贸组织的多边方针开始显现其广泛价值,防止了贸易壁垒的激增,没有走1929—1930年保护主义加深和扩大了大萧条的老路。但主要问题——全球化是好是坏、对谁好对谁坏——仍有待回答。

全球化的本质——自由贸易——建立在比较优势理论上,比较优势理论认为,即使对于可以比其他所有国家都较为廉价地生产所有商品的国家(以劳动力或全资源角度衡量),国际贸易仍然是有利可图的。

诺贝尔经济学奖得主保罗·萨缪尔森(Paul Samuelson)的教科书给出的例子是同时身为镇上最佳律师和最佳打字员的人。假设他擅长法律胜过擅长打字,那么他应该专注于当律师,让秘书去干打字工作。这样能让两个人的收入都有所提高。

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