Reply To: West rich because Third World poor?


Austrians write little about international trade as a separate topic because we claim that economic laws are universal. Comparative advantage, for example, applies to people within the state Pennsylvania as well as between people in Pennsylvania and Ohio or Pennsylvania and China. And capital investment tends to be allocated to the highest-valued projects wherever they may be located in the world. To investigate such issues, any standard treatise will suffice, like Human Action or Man, Economy, and State.

International trade, from our perspective, mainly addresses various arrangements of government intervention among different states. One state erects tariff barriers to imports from the territory of another state, for example. Or one state inflates its money stock relative to the money stock of another state. Such analyses tend to appear in articles on Protectionism or International Monetary Systems.

David Osterfeld is good on development economics, an area in economics that addresses some of the issues you raise. You might consult his book, Prosperity versus Planning. Here’s a sample of his work: