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purely arbitrary hypothesis respecting the relation between demand and cheapness. We have assumed their relation to be fixed, though it is essentially variable. We have supposed that every increase of cheapness produces an exactly proportional extension of demand; in other words, that the same invariable value is laid out in a commodity whether it be cheap or dear; and the. law which we have investigated holds good only on this hypothesis, or some other practically equivalent to it. Let us now, therefore, combine the two variable elements of the question, the variations of each of which we have considered separately. Let us suppose the relation between demand and cheapness to vary, and to become such as would
Srevent the rule of interchange laid own in the last theorem from satisfying the conditions of the Equation of International Demand. Let it be supposed, for instance, that the demand
portion of the supply would regulate the price of the whole; that England therefore would be able permanently to sell her million of cloth at the German cost of production (viz. for two millionsof linen) and would gain the wl ole advantage of the trade, Germany being no better off than before.
That such, however, would not be the practical result, will soon be evident. The residuary demand of Germany for 200,000 yards of cloth furnishes a resource to England for purposes of foreign trade of which it is still her interest to avail herself; and though she has no nore labour and capital which she can withdraw from linen for tha production of this extra quantity of cloth, there must be some other commodities in which Germany has a relative advantage over her (though perhaps not so great as in linen): these she will now import, instead of producing, and the labour and capital formerly employed in producing them will be transferred to cloth, until the required amount is made up. If this transfer just makes up the 200,000 and no more, this augmented n will now be equal to nt; England will sell the whole 1,200,000 at the German values; and wUl still gain the v hole advantage of the trade. But if the transfer makes up more than the 200,(00, England will have more cloth than 1,200,000 yards to offer; n will become greater than *n, and England must part with enough of the advantage to induce Germany to take the surplus. Thus, the case whit h seemed at first sight to be beyond the limits, is transformed practically into a case either coinciding with one of the limits, or between them. And so with every other case which can he supposed.
of England for linen is exactly proportional to the cheapness, but that of Germany for cloth, not proportionaL To revert to the secoDd of our three* cases, the case in which England by discontinuing the production of linen could produce for exportation a million yards of cloth, and Germany by ceasing to produce cloth could produce an additional 1,600,000 yards of linen. If the one of these quantities exactly exchanged for the other, the demand of England would on our present supposition be exactly satisfied, for she requires all the linen which can be got for a million yards of cloth: but Germany perhaps, though she reqnired 800,000 cloth at a cost equivalent to 1,600,000 linen, yet when she can get a million of cloth at the same cost, may not require the whole million; or may require more than a million. First, let her not require so much; but only as much as she can now buy for 1,500,000 linen. England will still offer a million for these 1,500,000; but even this may not induce Germany to take so much as a million; and if England continues to expend exactly the same aggregate cost on linen whatever be the price, she will have to submit to take for her million of cloth any quantity of linen (not less than a million) which may be requisite to induce Germany to take a million of cloth. Suppose this to be 1,400,000 yards. England has now reaped from the trade a gain not of 600,000 but only of400,000 yards ; while Germany, besides having obtained an extra 200,000 yards of cloth, has obtained it with only seven-eighths of the labour and capital which she previously expended in supplying herself with cloth, and may expend the remainder in increasing her own consumption of linen, or of any other commodity.
Suppose on the contrary that Germany, at the rate of a million cloth for 1,600,000 linen, requires more than a million yards of cloth. England having only a million which she can give without trenching upon the quantity she previously reserved for herself, Germany must bid for the extra cloth at a higher rate than 160 for 100, nntil she reaches a rate (say 170 for 100) which will either bring down her own demand for cloth to the limit of a million, or else tempt England to part with some of the cloth she previously consumed at home.
Let us next suppose that the proportionality of demand to cheapness, instead of holding good in one country but not in the other, does not hold good in either country, and that the deviation is of the same kind in both; that, for instance, neither of the two increases its demand in a degree equivalent to the increase of cheapness. On this supposition, at the rate of one million cloth for 1,600,000 linen, England will not want so much as 1,600,000 linen, nor Germany so much as a million cloth: and if they fall short of that amount in exactly the same degree; if England only wants linen to the amount of nine-tenths of 1,600,000 (1,440,000), and Germany only nine hundred thousand of cloth, the interchange will continue to take place at the same r"te. And so if England wants a tenth more than 1,600,000, and Germany a tenth more than a million. This coincidence (which, it is to be observed, supposes demand to extend cheapness in a corresponding, but not in an equal degree*) evidently could not exist unless by mere accident: and in any other case, the equation of international demand would require a different adjustment of international values.
The only general law, then, which can be laid down, is this. The values at which a country exchanges its produce with foreign countries depend on two things: first, on the amount and extensibility of their demand for its commodities, compared with its demand for theirs; and secondly, on the capital which it has to spare, from the production of domestic commodities
• The increase of demand from 800,000 to 900.000, and that from a million to 1,440,000, are neither equal in themselves, nor bear an equal proportion to the increase of cheapness. Germany's demand for cloth has increased one-eighth, while the cheapness is increased one-fourth. England's demand for linen is increased 44 per cent, while the cheapness is increased 60 per cunt.
for its own consumption. The more the foreign demand for its commodities exceeds its demand for foreign commodities, and the less capital it can spare to produce for foreign markets, compared with what foreigners spare to produce for its markets, the more favourable to it will be the terms of interchange: that is, the more it will obtain of foreign commodities in return for a given quantity of its own.
But these two influencing circumstances are in reality reducible to one: for the capital which a country has to spare from the production of domestic commodities for its own usa, is in proportion to its own demand for foreign commodities: whatever proportion of its collective income it expends in purchases from abroad, that same proportion of its capital is left without a home market for its productions. The new element, therefore, which for the sake of scientific correctness we have introduced into the theory of international values, does not seem to make any very material difference in the practical result. It still appears, that the countries which carry on their foreign trade on the most advantageous terms, are those whose commodities are most in demand by foreign countries, and which have themselves the least demand for foreign commodities. From which, among other consequences, it follows, that the richest countries, ctEteris paribus, gain the least by a given amount of foreign commerce: since, having a greater demand for commodities generally, they are likely to have a greater demand for foreign commodities, and thus modify the terms of interchange to their own disadvantage. Their aggregate gains by foreign trade, doubtless, are generally greater than those of poorer countries, since they carry on a greater amount of such trade, and gain the benefit of cheapness on a larger consumption: but their gain is less on each individual article consumed.
§ 9. We now pass to another essential part of the theory of the subject. There are two senses in which a country obtains commodities cheaper by foreign trade; in the sense of Value, and in the sense of Cost. It gets them cheaper in the first sense, by their falling in value relatively to other things: the same quantity of them exchanging, in the country, for a smaller quantity than before of the other produce of the country. To revert to our original figures; in England, all consumers of linen obtained, after the trade was opened, 17 or some greater number of yards for the same quantity of all other things for which they before obtained only 15. The degree of cheapness, in this sense of the term, depends on the laws of International Demand, so copiously illustrated in the preceding sections. But in the other sense, that of Cost, a country gets a commodity cheaper, when it obtains a greater quantity of the commodity with the same expenditure of labour and capital. In this «ense of the term, cheapness in a great measure depends upon a cause of a different nature: a country gets its imports cheaper, in proportion to the general productiveness of its domestic industry; to the general efficiency of its labour. The labour of one country may be, as a whole, much more efficient than that of another: all or most of the commodities capable of being produced in both, may be produced in one at less absolute cost than in the other; which, as we have seen, will not necessarily prevent the two countries from exchanging commodities. The things which the more favoured country will import from others, are of course those in which it is least superior; but by importing them it acquires, even in those commodities, the same advantage which it possesses in the articles it gives in exchange for them. Thus the countries which obtain their own productions at least cost, also get their imports at least cost.
This will be made still more obvious if we suppose two competing countries. England sends cloth to Germany, and gives 10 yards of it for 17 yards of linen, or for something else which in Germany is the equivalent of those
17 yards. Another country, as for example France, does the same. The one> giving 10 yards of cloth for a certain quantity of German commodities, so must the other: if, therefore, in England, these 10 yards are produced byonly half as much labour as that by which they are produced in France, the linen or other commodities of Germany will cost to England only half the amount of labour which they will cost to France. England would thus obtain her imports at less cost than France, in the ratio of the greater efficiency of her labour in the production of cloth: which might be taken, in the case supposed, as an approximate estimate of the efficiency of her labour generally; since France, as well as England, by selecting cloth as her article of export, would have shown that with her also it was the commodity in which labour was relatively the most efficient. It follows, therefore, that every country gets its imports at less cost, in proportion to the general efficiency of its labour.
This proposition was first clearly seen and expounded by Mr. Senior,* but only as applicable to the importation of the precious metals. I think it important to point out that the proposition holds equally true of all other imported commodities; and further, that it is only a portion of the truth. For, in the case supposed, the cost to England of the linen which she pays for with ten yards of cloth, does not depend solely upon the cost to herself of ten yards of cloth, but partly also upon how many yards of linen she obtains in exchange for them. What her imports cost to her is a function of two variables; the quantity of her own commodities which she gives for them, and the cost of those commodities. Of these, the last alone depends on the efficiency of her labour: the first depends on the law of international values; that is, on the intensity and' extensibility of the foreign demand for her commodities, compared with her demand for foreign commodities.
In the case just now supposed, of
* Three Lectures on the Cost of Obtaining Money.
8 competition between England and France, the state of international values affected both competitors alike, since they were supposed to trade with the same country, and to export and import the same commodities. The difference, therefore, in what their imports cost them, depended solely on the other cause, the unequal efficiency of their labour. They gave the same quantities; the difference could only he in the cost of production. But if England traded to Germany with cloth, and France with iron, the comparative demand in Germany for those two commodities would bear a share in deter
mining the comparative cost, in labour and capital, with which England and France would obtain German products. If iron wero moro in demand in Germany than cloth, France would recover, through that channel, part of her disadvantage; if less, her disadvantage would be increased. The efficiency, therefore, of a country's labour, is not the only thing which determines even the cpst at which that country obtains imported commodities—-while it has no share whatever in determining either their exchange value, or, as we shall presently see, their price.
OF MONEY, CONSIDERED AS
§ 1. TnE degree of progress which we have now made in the theory of Foreign Trade, puts it in our power to supply what was previously deficient in our view of the theory of Money; and this, when completed, will in its turn enable us to conclude the subject of Foreign Trade.
Money, or the material of which it is composed, is, in Great Britain, and in most other countries, a foreign commodity. Its value and distribution must therefore be regulated, not by the law of value which obtains in adjacent places, but by that which is applicable to imported commodities—the law of International Values.
In the discussion into which we are now about to enter, I shall use the terms Money and the Precious Metals indiscriminately. This may be done without leading to any error; it having been shown that the value of money, when it consists of the precious metals, or of a paper currency convertible into them on demand, is entirely governed by the value of the metals themselves: from which it never permanently differs, except by" the expense of coinage when this is paid by the individual and not by the state.
AN IMPORTED COMMODITY/.
Money is brought into a country in two different ways. It is imported (chiefly in the form of bullion) like any other merchandize, as being an advantageous article of commerce. It is also imported in its other character of a medium of exchange, to pay some debt due to the country, either for goods exported or on any other account. There are other ways in which it may be introduced casually; these are the two in which it is received in the ordinary course of business, and which determine its value. The existence of these two distinct modes in which money flows into a country, while other commodities are habitually introduced only in the first of these modes, occasions somewhat moro of complexity and obscurity than exists iu the case of other commodities, and for this reason only is any special and minute exposition necessary.
§ 2. In so far as the precious metals, are imported in the ordinary way of commerce, their value must depend on the same causes, and conform to the same laws, as the value of any other foreign production. It is in this mode chiefly that gold and silver diffuse themselves from tie mining countries into all other parts of the commercial world. They are the staple commodities of those countries, or at least are among their great articles of regular export; and are shipped on speculation, in the same manner as other exportable commodities. The quantity, therefore, which a country (say England) will give of its own produce, for a certain quantity of bullion, will depend, if we suppose only two countries and two commodities, upon the demand in England for bullion, compared with the demand in the mining country (which we will call Brazil) for what England has to give. They must exchange in such proportions as will leave no unsatisfied demand on either side, to a'ter values by its competition. The bulhon required by England must exactly pay for the cottons or other English commodities required by Brazil. If, however, we substitute for this simplicity the degree of complication which really exists, the equation of international demand must be established not between the bullion wanted in England and the cottons or broadcloth wanted in Brazil, but between the whole of the imports of England and the whole of her exports. The demand in foreign countries for English products, must be brought into equilibrium with the demand in England for the products of foreign countries; and all foreign commodities, bullion among the rest, must be exchanged against English roducts in such proportions, as will, y the effect they produce on the demand, establish this equilibrium.
There is nothing in the peculiar nature or uses of the precious metals, which should make them an exception to the general principles of demand. So far as they are wanted for purposes of luxury or the arts, the demand increases with the cheapness, in the same irregular way as the demand for any other commodity. So far as they are required for money, the demand increases with the cheapness in a perfectly regular way, the quantity needed biing always in inverse proportion to the value. This is the only real difference, in respect to demand, between
money and other things; and for »•* present purpose it is a difference altogether immaterial.
Money, then, if imported solely as a merchandize, will, like other imported commodities, be of lowest value in the countries for whose exports there is the
greatest foreign demand, and which ave themselves the least demand for foreign commodities. To these two circumstances it is however necessary to add two others, which produce their effect through cost of carriage. The cost of obtaining bullion is compounded of two elements; the goods given to purchase it, and the expense of transport: ol which last, the bullion countries will bear a part (though an uncertain part) in the adjustment of international values. The expense of transport is partly that of carrying the goods to the bullion countries, and partly that of bringing back the bullion: both these items are influenced by the distance from the mines; and the former is also much affected by the bulkiness of the goods. Countries whose exportable produce consists of the finer manufactures, obtain bullion, as well as all other foreign articles, cceteris paribus, at less expense than countries which export nothing but bulky raw produce.
To be quite accurate, therefore, we must say—The countries whose exportable productions are most in demand abroad, and contain greatest value in smallest bulk, which are nearest to the mines, and which have least demand for foreign productions, are those in which money will be of lowest value, or in other words, in which prices will habitually range the highest. If we are speaking not of the value of money, but of its cost (that is, the quantity of the country's labour which must be expended to obtain it), we must add to these four conditions of cheapness a fifth condition, namely, "whose productive industry is the most efficient. This last, however, does not at all affect the value of money, estimated in commodities: it affects the general abundance and facility with which all things, money and commodities together, can be obtained. Although, therefore, Mr. Senior is