By David Greenaway (eds.)
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The reduction in the price of good X therefore leads to an equiproportionate downward shift in that sector's labour demand schedule from Ly to L'y. 1): the restoration of labour market equilibrium requires a fall in the wage rate in terms of X, leading sector X to expand its output and employment and sector Y to contract. The question we must now consider is how the economy will actually move from the initial equilibrium represented by points A and a to the new equilibrium represented by points B and b.
3 'TEXTBOOK' RICARDIAN THEORY The reader will no doubt be thoroughly familiar with the textbook version of Ricardian trade theory, in which wages are the only kind of income, labour is homogeneous, and - as a result of these two assumptions - the autarchy price ratios in an economy are exactly proportional to the quantities of labour required to produce the various commodities. published 1821), we see at once that Ricardo supposes there to be a positive rate of profit and, indeed, shows how the opening of trade can increase that rate.
For reasons closely related to the results given above, it is no longer the case that a rising rent: wage ratio must necessarily be associated with a falling land: labour ratio; quite the opposite relationship may hold. There is not space to demonstrate this result here (see Metcalfe and Steedman, 1972, and Montet, 1979) but an important corollary must be noted: this is that, in the presence of a positive rate of interest, an increase in the relative price of the more land-intensive commodity may be associated with a decrease in the output of that commodity (and an increase in the output of the labour-intensive commodity).