Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Heterodox and Post Keynesian Bibliography on Trade Theory

I include the odd useful and relevant neoclassical work too.

I will update on a regular basis:
Baiman, R. 2010. “The Infeasibility of Free Trade in Classical Theory: Ricardo’s Comparative Advantage Parable has No Solution,” Review of Political Economy 22.3: 419–437.

Bairoch, Paul. 1993. Economics and World History: Myths and Paradoxes. Harvester Wheatsheaf, New York and London.

Brewer, A. 1985. “Trade with Fixed Real Wages and Mobile Capital,” Journal of International Economics 18: 177–186.

Chang, Ha-Joon. 2002. Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective. Anthem Press, London.

Chang, Ha-Joon. 2008. Bad Samaritans: Rich Nations, Poor Policies, and the Threat to the Developing World. Random House Business, London.

Cripps, Francis and Wynne Godley. 1978. “Control of Imports as a Means to Full Employment and the Expansion of World Trade: The UK’s Case,” Cambridge Journal of Economics 2.3: 327–334.

Davidson, Paul. 2011. Post Keynesian Macroeconomic Theory: Foundation for Successful Economic Policies for the Twenty-First Century (2nd edn). Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham. pp. 249–256.

Davidson, Paul. 2015. “Is International Free Trade always Beneficial?,” in Paul Davidson, Post Keynesian Theory and Policy: A Realistic Analysis of the Market Oriented Capitalist Economy. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK. 124–135.

Duffield, J. 2010. ‘Ricardian ‘Comparative Advantage’ is Illusory,” Real-World Economics Review 54 (27 September). 62–78.

Fletcher, Ian. 2011. Free Trade Doesn’t Work: What Should Replace It and Why (2nd edn.). Coalition for a Prosperous America, Sheffield, MA.

Hudson, Michael. 2010. America’s Protectionist Takeoff, 1815–1914: The Neglected American School of Political Economy (new edn.). Islet, Dresden.

Kaldor, Nicholas. 1978. “The Nemesis of Free Trade,” in N. Kaldor, Further Essays on Applied Economics. Duckworth, London. 234–241.

Kaldor, Nicholas. 1980. “The Foundations of Free Trade Theory and their Implications for the Current World Recession,” in E. Malinvaud and J. P. Fitoussi (eds), Unemployment in Western Countries. MacMillan Press, London. 85–100.

Kaldor, Nicholas. 1981. “The Role of Increasing Returns, Technical Progress and Cumulative Causation in the Theory of International Trade and Economic Growth,” Économie Appliquée 34.4: 593–617.

Kaldor, Nicholas. 1985. Economics Without Equilibrium. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, N.Y. pp. 68–75.

Kaldor, Nicholas. 1996. Causes of Growth and Stagnation in the World Economy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

King, John Edward. 2013. David Ricardo. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. pp. 81–88, 104–106.

Lavoie, Marc. 2014. Post-Keynesian Economics: New Foundations. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. pp. 507–512.

Norman, Neville R. 1996. “A General Post Keynesian Theory of Protection,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 18.4: 509–531.

Palley, Thomas I. “The Free Trade Debate: A Left Keynesian Gaze.”

Palley, Thomas I. 2008. “Institutionalism and New Trade Theory: Rethinking Comparative Advantage and Trade Policy,” Journal of Economic Issues 42.1: 195–208.

Parrinello, S. 2006. “National Competitiveness and Absolute Advantage in a Global Economy,” Dipartimento di Economia pubblica, Working paper 95, University of Rome “La Sapienza.”

Prasch, Robert E. 1995. “Reassessing Comparative Advantage: The Impact of Capital Flows on the Argument for Laissez-Faire,” Journal of Economic Issues 29.2: 427–433.

Prasch, Robert E. 1996. “Reassessing the Theory of Comparative Advantage,” Review of Political Economy 8.1: 37–56.

Pullen, John. 2006. “Did Ricardo really have a Law of Comparative Advantage? A Comparison of Ricardo’s Version and the Modern Version,” History of Economics Review 44: 59–75.

Robinson, Joan. 1973. “The Need for a Reconsideration of the Theory of International Trade,” in M. B. Connolly and A. K. Swoboda (eds.), International Trade and Money: The Geneva Essays. Allen and Unwin, London. 15–25.

Robinson, Joan. 1974. Reflections on the Theory of International Trade. The University Press, Manchester.

Robinson, Joan. 1977. “What Are the Questions?,” Journal of Economic Literature 15.4: 1318–1339, at 1333–1336.

Robinson, Joan. 1979. Aspects of Development and Underdevelopment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.

Ruffin, Roy J. 2002. “David Ricardo’s Discovery of Comparative Advantage,” History of Political Economy 34.4: 727–748.

Shaikh, A. 2007. “Globalization and the Myth of Free Trade,” in A. Shaikh (ed.), Globalization and the Myths of Free Trade: History, Theory, and Empirical Evidence. Routledge, London 50–68.
Some other work that looks interesting:
Meoqui, Jorge Morales. 2011. “Comparative Advantage and the Labor Theory of Value,” History of Political Economy 43.4: 743–763.

Steedman, I. 1999. “Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities and the Open Economy,” Metroeconomica 50.3: 260–276.

Meoqui, Jorge Morales. 2016. “Ricardo’s Numerical Example versus Ricardian Trade Model: A Comparison of Two Distinct Notions of Comparative Advantage,” July

Schumacher, Reinhard. 2012. Free Trade and Absolute and Comparative Advantage: A Critical Comparison of Two Major Theories of International Trade. Universitätsverlag Potsdam, Potsdam.


  1. Have you see this by Krugman?

    "don’t assume that people understand why it is reasonable to assume constant employment, or a self-correcting trade balance, or even that similar workers tend to be paid similar wages in different industries."

    Major cultish article.

  2. Debating JW Mason on the immigration issue in the comments here. Might prove illuminating as I think it's important that the left has this debate in public.

    My last comment which is now in moderation:


    Rather than personalising it why not discuss the issue? Why don’t you explain why your position isn’t one of liberal paternalism that forces the views and needs of working people below your own abstract goals? That would be more constructive.

    A nod to the empirics of the case would be helpful too.

    Here’s how I see it. Middle class left-wingers see no impact of immigration on their wages. But there are impacts on working peoples’ wages. See:

    “UK research suggests that immigration has a small impact on average wages of existing workers but more significant effects along the wage distribution: low-wage workers lose while medium and high-paid workers gain.”

    Middle class leftists also want to think that migration causes no problems because they like migration. They like migration because it benefits them. They know people who have migrated, they have migrated themselves (as I have) or they are in relationships with migrants (as I am). So they tend to support migration because they like it and they don’t see the effects.

    But the general public have a different experience. They realise that low-end migration impacts their wages while high-end migration does not. See:

    “Despite the clear opposition to overall immigration, more specific polling questions reveal that attitudes depend on the type of immigrant in question. For example, a 2011 Migration Observatory/IpsosMORI study found that attitudes toward low-skilled labour migrants, extended family members, and asylum seekers were much more negative than attitudes to high-skilled migrants, students, and close family members.”

    So the public’s opinions are closer to fact than those of what I call ‘paternalist leftists’. I’m open to hearing why the public are, in fact, wrong and the paternalistic leftists are right. Give me a solid argument and I’ll sign up. After all, being a migrant that would be a much more comfortable position for me to defend. But I just don’t think it squares with the facts.

    Open to being proved wrong. But I must be PROVED wrong. Not given arguments from authority.

    1. It's astonishing to read through that thread.

      You say:

      "This is why the left will never win. They believe what they want to be true over what is actually true. And they’ll find themselves instituting low wage policies favoured by neoliberals until they get it together. Which is why anti-neoliberal policies will eventually be attacked by the far right and not the left. It’s happening already actually."

      Yes... This is what makes my blood boil. How is it that the Left hasn't made *massive capital* out of the catastrophe of the Eurozone, the post-2008 global recession, and austerity?

      How is it that -- with a few exceptions like Syriza -- the populist right in Europe seems to the main beneficiaries of disaster after disaster?

      If you look closely at the anti-EU populist parties, they are divided between:

      (1) quasi-libertarian or Thatcherite nationalists, or

      (2) protectionist or broadly left-leaning social democratic nationalists.
      Group (2) includes the Danish People's Party, Sweden Democrats, and French National Front, the latter being very hostile to neoliberalism.

      This is a testimony to the bankruptcy of the mainstream left that they couldn't win over a large % of these people who have shifted to the populist right, because there is some evidence that a lot of these are angry "protest" voters who would switch if they had a decent left-wing option.

  3. You should look for articles by Anthony Brewer, Ian Steedman and Sergio Parrinello (the last two, Sraffians), as well.

    1. Do you have any references for these? I will include them.

  4. By Parrinello:
    By Brewer:
    By Steedman: