What Happens When a Country Has an Absolute Advantage in All Goods

Critical Thinking Questions

You just overheard your friend say the following: “Poor countries like Malawi have no absolute advantages. They have poor soil, low investments in formal education and hence low-skill workers, no capital, and no natural resources to speak of. Because they have no advantage, they cannot benefit from trade.” How would you respond?

Look at Table. Is there a range of trades for which there will be no gains?

You just got a job in Washington, D.C. You move into an apartment with some acquaintances. All your roommates, however, are slackers and do not clean up after themselves. You, on the other hand, can clean faster than each of them. You determine that you are 70% faster at dishes and 10% faster with vacuuming. All of these tasks have to be done daily. Which jobs should you assign to your roommates to get the most free time overall? Assume you have the same number of hours to devote to cleaning. Now, since you are faster, you seem to get done quicker than your roommate. What sorts of problems may this create? Can you imagine a trade-related analogy to this problem?