Back in 1817, in his catchy titled book ‘On the principle of political economy and taxation’, David Ricardo gave the mathematical argument for free trade based on comparative advantage. The argument goes that we’d all be better off if countries focused on what they’re best at producing, even if someone else might do a better. In this episode Prof Steve Keen explains to Phil Dobbie why the theory doesn’t hold – we only need to look at the industrialisation of Japan as an example.
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