Reaction Essay

timer Asked: Oct 1st, 2018
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Question description

The assignment is to read the following two essays on comparative advantage and trade, then write a response essay on the topic.

1. The first essay is by the economist Paul Krugman, who is a columnist for the New York Times. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008 for his contributions to trade theory. The Nobel Committee explains,

"Traditional trade theory assumes that countries are different and explains why some countries export agricultural products whereas others export industrial goods. The new theory clarifies why worldwide trade is in fact dominated by countries which not only have similar conditions, but also trade in similar products – for instance, a country such as Sweden that both exports and imports cars. This kind of trade enables specialization and large-scale production, which result in lower prices and a greater diversity of commodities."

Krugman's essay is from a book of essays on international economics. The essay is called "Ricardo's Difficult Idea" and discusses why he believes so few people share the consensus of professional economists on comparative advantage.

Link to the essay: to an external site.

2. The second essay is titled "A Petition" by the 19th Century political economist Frederic Bastiat. The essay is sometimes also referred to as "The Candlemaker's Petition", and it is a satirical essay that deals with common objections to international trade.

Link to the essay:, Ch.7, A Petition (you may have to copy and paste this link).

The assignment is to write a response to these essays that discusses the following questions:

1) Who was the audience for each essay? How did those audiences differ?

2) Are the arguments presented largely positive or normative? Do the authors tones differ?

3) What positive argument is each author giving in support of open trade? Do they directly address common objections?

Your response should not exceed 2000 words, and should be at least 1250 words.

Tutor Answer

School: University of Maryland

Hello! Find the completed paper attached.Regards


Reaction Essay on Comparative Advantage and Trade
Student’s Name




1. Who was the audience for each essay? How did those audiences differ?
The two essays “A petition” and “Ricardo's Difficult Idea” by authors Frederic Bastiat
and Paul Krugman respectively offer quite insightful ideas in the field of economics. The two
essays talk of issues that are closely related regarding international trade and free trade though
through different perspectives. The essay by Frederic Bastiat, A Petition” target a special group
of people and group as its audience. Most specifically Frederic Bastiat essay target
parliamentarians and the French government at large. In addition, his essay indirectly targets
local producers and manufacturers who include "the manufacturers of candles, tapers, lanterns,
sticks, street lamps, snuffers and extinguishers, and from producers of tallow, oil, resin, alcohol,
and generally of everything connected with lighting" as his audience. This is because this is the
people who push for trade protective measure such as a shield from international competition.
On the other hand, Paul Krugman essay “Ricardo's Difficult Idea” targeted a wide range
of audience which includes intellectuals, traders, and economists. The author had a strong belief
that most intellectuals in the society did not fully understand the importance of international free
trade. In the cases, the author used the term intellectual to refer to a section of any population in
a country that is largely outside mainstream economics. Some of these are also the peopl...

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Wow this is really good.... didn't expect it. Sweet!!!!

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