Regional Dynamics with Endogenous Knowledge in a Multi-Sector Model

  • Wei-Bin Zhang
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


The dynamic relationship between the interregional division of labor, division of consumption and the determination of price structures in the global economy is a main concern of contemporary economics. In fact, economists have produced different trade theories, which deal with various aspects of international and inter-regional trade. Although Adam Smith held that a country could gain from free trade, he failed to create a convincing economic theory of international trade. It is generally agreed that David Ricardo is the creator of the classical theory of trade. The theories of comparative advantage and the gains from trade are usually connected with Ricardo. In this theory the crucial variable used to explain international trade patterns is technology. The theory holds that a difference in comparative costs of production is the necessary condition for the existence of international trade. But this difference reflects a difference in the techniques of production. According to this theory, technological differences between countries determine the international division of labor and consumption and trade patterns. It concludes that trade is beneficial to all participating countries. This conclusion is in contradiction to the viewpoint about trade held by the doctrine of mercantilism. In mercantilism regulation and planning of economic activity are held to be efficient means of fostering the goals of a nation. This theory assumes that production costs are independent from factor prices and the composition of output. Since it lacks consideration of the demand side, the theory cannot determine how and at what value the terms of trade are or should be.


Economic Geography Regional Dynamics Trade Theory Land Rent Knowledge Stock 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei-Bin Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of EconomicsNational University of SingaporeCrescentSingapore

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