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Efficient Portugal

In response to:

The Multinational Corporation and the Nation-State from the February 11, 1971 issue

To the Editors:

In his excellent article on the “Multi-national Corporation” (NYR, February 11), Professor Heilbroner erroneously states that in Ricardo’s celebrated example of comparative advantage, “England might be able to produce both cloth and wine more efficiently than Portugal.” On the contrary, Ricardo presented Portugal as being more efficient than England in the production of both commodities. What might be interesting to point out is that, as I demonstrated in my Trade and Power (Rotterdam University Press, Rotterdam, 1970), the situation assumed by Ricardo in his example actually approximated reality just before the Methuen Treaty (1703) forced Portugal to specialize in the production of wine.

S. Sideri

Institute of Social Studies

The Hague

Robert Heilbroner replies:

Sorry!

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