Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Sidgwick's Theory of International Values

Melitz, Jacques (1963): Sidgwick's Theory of International Values. Published in: The Economic Journal , Vol. 73, No. 291 (1963): pp. 431-441.


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Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900) is generally believed to have rejected the classical theory of comparative costs. He supposedly maintained, contrary to the classical view, that transportation costs instead of international factor immobilities were the primary basis for a special theory of international values. It is argued in this article that Sidgwick did not contest the classical theory of international values. He merely opposed John Stuart Mill's case for introducing the "equation of reciprocal demand" in international trade theory. Whereas Mill believed that the use of the "equation" was required by international factor immobilities, Sidgwick attributed the need for it mainly to transportation costs.

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