It is an honour, and a thoroughly unearned pleasure, for me to be asked to comment on papers on trade theory by Gottfried Haberler and Bertil Ohlin. So it is with considerable diffidence that I offer my comments here. The papers by Professor Haberler and Ohlin are surveys of a literature that is at least decades, even centuries, old. A discussant can hardly touch on a majority of the points made in these surveys; rather he has to find a point of departure related to his particular comparative advantage with the hope that he can contribute to the discussion. As I read the two surveys, I decided that my contribution might lie in a discussion of recent empirical work on three-factor ‘explanations’ of the composition of trade in manufactured goods, and in a partial defence of the factor-proportions hypothesis concerning the source of comparative advantage. Here I put the word explanations in quotation marks, and mention a partial defence of the factor-proportions hypothesis because almost all of the recent empirical work has been on the factor content of trade; hardly any has been reported on relative factor endowments.


Human Capital Comparative Advantage Foreign Trade Physical Capital Labour Input 


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  1. 1.
    1 The following discussion draws on W. H. Branson and N. Monoyios (1975).Google Scholar

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© The Nobel Foundation 1977

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  • William Branson

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