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Absolute Advantage

By JIM CHAPPELOW

Updated May 1, 2019

绝对优势

作者:JIM CHAPPELOW

更新时间:2019年5月1日

 

What is Absolute Advantage?

什么是绝对优势?

 

Absolute advantage is the ability of an individual, company, region, or country to produce a greater quantity of a good or service with the same quantity of inputs per unit of time, or to produce the same quantity of a good or service per unit of time using a lesser quantity of inputs, than another entity that produces the same good or service. An entity with an absolute advantage can produce a product or service at a lower absolute cost per unit using a smaller number of inputs or a more efficient process than another entity producing the same good or service.

绝对优势指某一个人、公司、地区或国家,与生产同类产品或提供同类服务的实体相比,在单位时间内以同样的投入生产更多产品或提供更多服务的能力,或在单位时间内以较少的投入生产同样多的产品或提供同样多的服务的能力。与其他生产同种产品或提供同种服务的实体相比,拥有绝对优势的实体通过使用较少的投入或更高效的流程就可以在单位时间内以较低的绝对成本生产产品或提供服务。

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

文章要点

 

Absolute advantage is when a producer can produce a good or service in greater quantity for the same cost, or the same quantity at lower cost, than other producers.

绝对优势指的是与其他生产者相比,某一生产者可以同样的成本,生产更多产品或提供更多服务,或以较低的成本,生产同样多的产品或提供同样多的服务。

 

Absolute advantage can be the basis for large gains from trade between producers of different goods with different absolute advantages.

绝对优势可作为以下观点的理论基础,即生产者各自生产其具有绝对优势的产品的,可通过贸易获得巨大收益。

 

By specialization, division of labor, and trade, producers with different absolute advantages can always gain over producing in isolation.

通过专门化、分工和贸易,拥有不同绝对优势的生产者总是可以比自给自足的生产获益更多。

 

Absolute advantage is related to comparative advantage, which can open up even more widespread opportunities for the division of labor and gains from trade.

绝对优势与比较优势相关,比较优势可为分工和贸易收益创造更多机会。

 

Basic Concept Of Absolute Advantage

绝对优势的基本概念

 

Understanding Absolute Advantage

了解绝对优势

 

The concept of absolute advantage was developed by Adam Smith in his book Wealth of Nations to show how countries can gain from trade by specializing in producing and exporting the goods that they can produce more efficiently than other countries. Countries with an absolute advantage can decide to specialize in producing and selling a specific good or service and use the funds that good or service generates to purchase goods and services from other countries.

绝对优势这一概念是由英国经济学家亚当·斯密提出的。亚当·斯密在其代表作《国富论》中展示了各国如何通过专门生产并出口与其他国家相比其生产效率更高的产品而从贸易中受益。拥有某一绝对优势的国家可专门生产、销售某种产品或服务,并使用该等产品或服务创造的收益从其他国家购买产品和服务。

 

By Smith’s argument, specializing in the products that they each have an absolute advantage in and then trading products, can make all countries better off, as long as they each have at least one product for which they hold an absolute advantage over other nations.

史密斯认为,只要各国都至少拥有一种其具有绝对优势的产品,且各国专门从事该等产品的生产和贸易,那么所有国家都会因此富起来。

 

General Example of Absolute Advantage

绝对优势的一般示例

 

Consider the two hypothetical countries, Atlantica and Krasnovia, with equivalent populations and resource endowments, which each produce two products, Guns and Bacon. Each year Atlantica can produce either 12 Guns or 6 slabs of Bacon, while Krasnovia can produce either 6 Guns or 12 slabs of Bacon. Each country needs a minimum of 4 Guns and 4 slabs of Bacon to survive. In a state of autarky, producing solely on their own for their own needs, Atlantica can spend ⅓ of the year making Guns and ⅔ making Bacon for a total of 4 Guns and 4 slabs of Bacon. Krasnovia can spend ⅓ of the year making Bacon and ⅔ making Guns to produce the same, 4 Guns and 4 slabs of Bacon. This leaves each country at the brink of survival, with barely enough Guns and Bacon to go around. However, not that Atlantica has an absolute advantage in producing Guns, and Krasnovia has an absolute advantage in producing Bacon.

假设有两个国家,Atlantica 和 Krasnovia,他们拥有同样的人口和资源,各自生产两种产品,枪支和培根。Atlantica每年可生产12把枪或6块培根,而Krasnovia每年则可生产6把枪或12块培根。两国各自每年都至少需要4把枪和4块培根才能生存。在自给自足状态下,两国都靠自己满足自身需求。Atlantica每年花1/3的时间造枪,2/3的时间做培根,从而每年创造4把枪和4块培根的产出。Krasnovia每年花1/3的时间做培根,2/3的时间造枪,生产出同样数量的产品。因此两个国家都处在生存的边缘,生产出来的培根和枪支总是刚刚够用。然而,这里并不是说Atlantica 在生产枪支方面具有绝对优势,或Krasnovia在生产培根方面具有绝对优势。

 

Absolute advantage also explains why it makes sense for individuals, businesses and countries to trade. Since each has advantages in producing certain goods and services, both entities can benefit from trade.

绝对优势也解释了为什么对于个人、企业和国家来说进行贸易是有意义的。因为只要每个实体在生产某种产品和服务上具有优势,则其均可从贸易中获益。

 

If each country were to specialize in their absolute advantage, Atlantica could make 12 Guns and no Bacon, while Krasnovia makes no Guns and 12 slabs of Bacon. By specializing, the two countries divide the tasks of their labor between them. If they then trade 6 Guns for 6 slabs of Bacon, each country would then have 6 of each. Both countries would now be better off than before, because each would have 6 Guns and 6 Bacon, as opposed to 4 of each good which they could produce on their own.

如果两国都专门从事生产其具有绝对优势的产品,那么 Atlantica可生产12把枪,0块培根,而Krasnovia可生产0把枪,12块培根。通过专门化生产,两国可进行劳动分工。如果他们用6把枪交换6块培根,则每个国家都能拥有6把枪、6块培根,他们也就比之前更加富裕了,因为之前在他们自给自足时,他们都只能获得自己生产的4把枪、4块培根。

 

This mutual gain from trade forms the basis of Adam Smith’s argument that specialization, the division of labor, and subsequent trade leads to an overall increase of wealth from which all can benefit. This, Smith believed, was the root cause of the eponymous Wealth of Nations.

这种从贸易中获得的互惠互利形成了亚当·斯密观点的基础,即专业化、分工及之后的贸易可以增加总体财富,使人人受益。在亚当·斯密看来,这一点正是同名为国富论的根本原因。

 

Absolute Advantage and Comparative Advantage

绝对优势和相对优势

Absolute advantage can be contrasted to comparative advantage, which is when a producer has a lower opportunity cost to produce a good or service than another producer. Absolute advantage leads to unambiguous gains from specialization and trade only in cases where each producer has an absolute advantage in producing some good. If a producer lacks any absolute advantage then Adam Smith’s argument would not necessarily apply. However, the producer and its trading partners might still be able to realized gains from trade if they can specialize based on their respective comparative advantages instead.

绝对优势常常用于与相对优势进行比较。相对优势指的是一个生产者能以低于另一个生产者的机会成本生产产品或提供服务。只有在每一生产者都在生产某种产品方面具有绝对优势的情况下,绝对优势才能通过专业化和贸易获得明确的收益。如果一个生产者缺乏绝对优势,那么亚当·斯密的观点就不一定适用。然而,生产者及其贸易伙伴如果可基于其各自的相对优势进行专门化生产,还是有可能从贸易中获得收益的。

 

发布于 2020-08-28 09:42:25
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