This paper shows that the usual bilateral rule of comparing relative prices under autarky to determine the pattern of trade is not valid for the multicommodity world. In addition, equilibrium world price ratios need not fall between the corresponding price ranges under autarky. Such a paradox disappears under gross substitutability when the third commodity is a nontradeable. For the case of tradeables, an alternative bilateral rule to determine the pattern of trade is proposed. Since the classical constant cost case has been heavily discussed in the literature, we confine ourselves to the neoclassical case.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics