Professor Balassa’s paper well demonstrates the great strides economic reasoning has made over the past half-century and the much greater caution and closer reliance on empirical evidence with which modern economists approach the old economic problems. In the good old days, we made sweeping assumptions about the mobility of products and the immobility of factors, and had implicit faith in the strength, the reversibility, and the monotonic nature of the relationship between tariffs, trade, international specialisation, and economic welfare. We have since learned, and are still learning, that none of those assumptions and relations is quite as simple as it once seemed, and that none can be taken on trust, without empirical evidence.
KeywordsNatural Barrier Trade Restriction Monopoly Profit Interregional Trade Land Transport
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