Comparative Advantage Vs Absolute Advantage

Absolute advantage is said to be when a state can do a merchandise more stingily than any other state. It is the comparing of the fiscal cost of production.

Comparative advantage is trickier, because it non comparing the fiscal costs of production but the chance. Cavusgil, Night and Riesenberger ( 2008, pp.99-102 ) states What is the state has to give up in order to do a good, if it is less so another state has to give up to do a good, so the first state has the comparative advantage.

From illustration imagine that in UK it takes 15 hours to do 1 Car but in China it requires merely 4 hours to do a auto. Clearly it is cheaper to do autos in China than in UK with presuming same cost of production in footings of per work hours. It is clear that China has absolute advantage in Car production. Now speaking about Wheat in UK it requires 5 hours to do 1 ton of Wheat, but in China it requires merely 2 hours to bring forth 1 ton of Wheat. So China besides has absolute advantage in Wheat production. It seems that there will be small point that China specialising in either Car production or Wheat production because it has absolute advantage in production of both goods. But David Ricardo showed that the comparative advantage is superior when we compare the chance cost of production its clear that each state has a comparative advantage.

To do this clear allow us cipher so the chance cost of these states when they choose to do the one good.

In UK when they make 1 Car they give up 3 Wheat, because they spent 15 hours to do 1 Car and they could hold made 3 Wheat so the are giving up 3 Wheat. On the other manus China gives up 2 Wheat when they make 1 Car because they use 4 hours to do a Car, and they could hold made 2 Wheat.

So clearly when doing a Car the lower chance cost is in China because they merely have to give up 2 Wheat when bring forthing 1 Car. Therefore China has comparative advantage in Car production because they giving up less Wheat as lower chance cost. Hence China has comparative advantage in Car production.

If you alternate the thing that how much of the Car they have made if they do non do Wheat. We can see that UK has the comparative advantage in Wheat production. On the other manner if the UK makes Wheat they give up 1/3 of the Car, in instance of China if they make Wheat they give up ? of Car. Now the inquiry is who is giving up more Car in doing Wheat. It is clear that China had a bigger chance cost. So they should specialise in trade. They can really profit from trade. So the theory suggests that even if a state as in above illustration China has absolute advantage everyplace they can still be point to specialise in trading. But if the chance costs are same there is no benefit from trade. So there are the benefits from trade and hence David Ricardo ‘s jurisprudence of comparative advantage is superior to Adam Smith ‘s theory of absolute advantage means that states benefit from trade due to comparative advantage even if they have the absolute advantage in certain things.

Comparative advantage is superior to the rule of absolute advantage, because comparative advantage means a manufacturer use the his resources more efficient to bring forth what their people want the most, whereas absolute advantage merely considers the figure of goods or services being produced. Though a manufacturer have an absolute advantage, but he or she may utilize the resource inefficiently, which will do a disadvantage which can take to the extinction of resources.

How do additions from trade arise with comparative advantage?

Comparative advantage creates greater pick of merchandises for consumers, additions competition for goods manufacturers. Furthermore other states can provide certain merchandises more expeditiously. Trade speeds up the gait of technological advancement and invention, and besides all the concerns are better placed to work economic systems of graduated table. Last there are political benefits from enlargement of planetary trade.

“ If a foreign state can provide us with a trade good cheaper than we ourselves can do it, better purchase it of them with some portion of the green goods of our ain industry, employed in a manner in which we have some advantage. The general industry of the state, being ever in proportion to the capital which employs it, will non thereby be diminished… but merely left to happen out the manner in which it can be employed with the greatest advantage. ”

How can less efficient state can export

One of the job with hapless counties is that they do n’t hold capital to work good Frederic Mishkin ( June 27, 2007 ) states that hapless states should welcome the free import of services like banking and investing from rich states, but ask for the free export of their inexpensive impermanent labor in exchange.

Harmonizing to David Ricardo hapless state should concentrate on the merchandises at which it is best in production with lower chance cost. It is non necessary that that state should be figure one in the production of that peculiar merchandise or export but it could be on the any rank. They should concentrate on what they were best at and merchandise their fortes between them. Even the low rankings besides provide the net incomes for the state harmonizing to their economic system province.

The states should delve up the sectors in which it can crush or follow the viing states and dressed ore to export merely those sectors.

A less efficient state should foremost choose mark merchandise and the mark markets where it desire to export and so it should get down believing over the assorted issues like transit and quality etc. in other words we can state hapless states which do non hold the technological promotions should concentrate on natural stuff export to the state from which they can import their necessities.

Harmonizing to the treatment of comparative and absolute advantage state can derive from trade if it has the capacity of bring forthing goods at lower costs than other states. For illustration, if there is one store in the metropolis which is figure one in selling cell phones does non intend that the store which is on figure two in ranking, does non do any net incomes. Of class, it does, but less than figure one but it is still running in net income.

Harmonizing to Walter J Wessels ( 2009, pp.572, 573 ) , the state should export those goods which it can bring forth at a lower comparative monetary value than other states. Any hapless states might be rich in some natural resources and it should concentrate on utilizing those resources in order to set up strong export industry.


  • Walter J Wessels ( 2009 ) , “ What do states can Export? “ , Economics ( Business Review Books ) , Jan, pp.572,573.
  • S. Tamer Cavusgil, Gary Knight, John R. Riesenberger ( 2008 ) , “ Theories of Trade ” , International Business ( Strategy, Management and the New Realities ) , , pp.99-102.
  • Adam Smith. “ Book IV Modern Library Edition ” , The Wealth of Nations, Oct, pp.43, 72-75, 186-189.
  • Frederic Mishkin ( June 27, 2007 ) , How can hapless states get rich? . Available from: hypertext transfer protocol: // % 3F [ Accessed: March 30, 2010 ] .