Terms of trade, international transfers of value and uneven development

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Γιώργος Λιοδάκης


It has been shown in this paper that, under contemporary economic circumstances, the "terms of trade" in their traditional form are rather inadequate as an indicator of the distribution of the gains from trade and the international division of labor. From a Marxist point of view, the investigation of transfers of value, which are considered as different forms of unequal exchange in its broadest sense, is proposed as an alternative and more pertinent way in addressing international distributional issues. This alternative approach allows an analysis more specific to the capitalist character of production and exchange and takes into account the tendency for internationalization of production and capital. It is moreover argued that international transfers of value are important because they tend to enhance the uneven development effects of free international trade.

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