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On the distribution of authorship-merits for the comparative-advantage proposition.

Morales Meoqui, Jorge (2012): On the distribution of authorship-merits for the comparative-advantage proposition.

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Abstract

Due to a better understanding of the logical interrelationships between the comparative- advantage proposition, the classical rule of specialization and the proposition regarding the non- appliance of the labor theory of value in international exchanges in Ricardo’s famous numerical example in the Principles, it is now possible to arrive to a definite conclusion regarding the longstanding academic debate about the true author of the comparative-advantage proposition. Torrens is not entitled to the same amount of merit as David Ricardo with regard to the comparative-advantage proposition since he fell short of formulating a full prove of it prior to the publication of Ricardo’s Principles. In the 1815 example of English cloth being traded for Polish corn, Torrens missed to apply the classical rule of specialization for Poland. For the featured international exchange to take place, though, there has to be gains from trade for both trading partners. More importantly, Torrens also failed to recognize the crucial role of Ricardo’s insight regarding the non-appliance of the law of value in international exchanges in proving the comparative-advantage proposition. Therefore, the bulk of the authorship-merit for this proposition rightly belongs to Ricardo.

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