Countries have comparative advantage in those goods for which the required factors of production are relatively abundant. This is because the prices of goods are ultimately determined by the prices of their inputs. Goods that require inputs that are locally abundant will be cheaper to produce than those goods that require inputs that are locally scarce.
For example, a country where capital and land are abundant but labor is scarce will have comparative advantage in goods that require lots of capital and land, but little labor - grains, for example. Since capital and land are abundant, their prices will be low. Those low prices will ensure that the price of the grain that they are used to produce will also be low - and thus attractive for both local consumption and export. Labor intensive goods on the other hand will be very expensive to produce since labor is scarce and its price is high. Therefore, the country is better off importing those goo
The Ricardian model of comparative advantage has trade ultimately motivated by differences in labour productivity using different technologies. Heckscher and Ohlin didn't require production technology to vary between countries, so (in the interests of simplicity) the H-O model has identical production technology everywhere. ...Show more