A Primer on International Trade by Jan Pen. Random House, New York, 1967.

Falih Al-Shaikhly


Jan Pen attempted to deal with the basic questions and
institutions of international trade. His main objective was to find out
whether trade between countries is a matter of common interest or of
conflict. His answer depends on the local situation of each country,
i.e., whether they are enjoying full employ¬ment and prosperity, or
unemployment and depression. The book is divided into three parts. Part
one deals with the concepts and philosophy of international trade viewed
by the mercantilists and the class¬ical economists, especially Adam
Smith and David Ricardo. This part also covers further development and
modification of the Ricardian theory of compara¬tive cost, which states
that the value of a commodity is solely determined by the amount of
labour needed to produce it. There are some developments made on the
Ricardian analysis, and specifically those by Haberler and
Heckscher-Ohlin philosophy. Professor Pen points up that the Ricardian
theory and the Heck¬scher-Ohlin theory supplement one another;
Heckscher-Ohlin theory takes the demand aspect into account — the
relative scarcity of labour and capital results from the interaction of
supply and demand; the Ricardian approach stresses the supply side.
Professor Jan Pen does not go further to state the modifications to the
Heckscher-Ohlin theory made by Professor Leontief and others in recent
studies in the area of international economics.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v10i4pp.503-505


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