On Comparative Advantage

by Don Boudreaux on February 25, 2020

in Economics, Myths and Fallacies, Trade

In a comment at this recent Cafe Hayek post, my old friend Mark Brady writes:

If free traders are going to win the debate, they have to get to grips with the arguments presented here.

[DBx: more-convenient link here]


When I tried to reply to Mark’s comment, Facebook informed me that my “comment goes against” its “community standards.” Strange. Pasted below, in full and without change, is the comment that I tried to post in response to Mark’s comment:


These ideas peddled by Fletcher have been addressed times too many to count, both by myself and by others. And they are, as you know, old: Haberler complained about them – and about their zombie character – back in 1936. Here are just a few of the more recent responses to Fletcher’s and others’ failure to understand the principle of comparative advantage:










I emphasize that the above is only a partial sampling of the responses, by myself (e.g., also here) and – more importantly, by others (e.g., Krugman) – to claims of the sort made by Fletcher (and by Sherman Xie, by Oren Cass, by Ha-Joon Chang, by Paul Craig Roberts,… this list is distressingly long).


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