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International Trade and Economic Development$
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Rajat Acharyya and Saibal Kar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672851.001.0001

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Problems of Trade in Primary Commodities

Problems of Trade in Primary Commodities

(p.25) 2 Problems of Trade in Primary Commodities
International Trade and Economic Development

Rajat Acharyya

Saibal Kar

Oxford University Press

All students of international economics are aware that the comparative advantage in primary goods may bring initial static gains when trade opens up, but subsequently adverse terms of trade movement and price instability associated with growth in exports of primary good makes nations heavily dependent on such exports worse off. This chapter offers a detailed analysis of how the discussion around the problems of trade in primary commodities has been instrumental in shaping the global patterns of international trade as we observe it now. The chapter also discusses the available critiques of the secular deterioration of the terms of trade for the poor countries and the theories of unequal exchange, to provide a comprehensive view on the topics that are essential preludes for understanding the deep political economy and industrialization practices associated with international trade.

Keywords:   terms of trade, primary commodities, secular decline, Prebisch-Singer, developing countries, unequal exchanges

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