The idea of comparative advantage is an essential part of every economists’ intellectual toolkit. On the 200th anniversary of the publication of “On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation”, this column salutes David Ricardo’s achievement of setting out the theory for comparative advantage for the first time.
Douglas Irwin, 19 April 2017
Thorvaldur Gylfason, Helgi Tomasson, Gylfi Zoega, 24 March 2016
There is a lot in a name. This column looks at the ideas that are wrongly attributed to Irving Fisher and David Ricardo. Incorrect attribution can be more dangerous than it seems, and the prestigious names of Ricardo and Fisher have been used to justify inattentive fiscal and monetary policies. Fisher, for instance, understood that under certain circumstances, including perfect foresight, real interest rates might be immune to changes in inflation, at least over the long haul. But he rejected the premises needed to erect such a theory.
Tony Wrigley, 22 July 2011
Before the industrial revolution, economists considered output to be fundamentally constrained by the limited supply of land. This column explores how the industrial revolution managed to break free from these shackles. It describes the important innovations that made the industrial revolution an energy revolution.