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International Exploitation, Capital Export, and Unequal Exchange

Jonathan Cogliano, Soh Kaneko, Roberto Veneziani and Naoki Yoshihara

No 718, Discussion Paper Series from Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University

Abstract: We discuss how international exploitation and unequal exchange emerge in the global economy by focusing on simple economic models with and without credit markets. Free trade of commodities among rich and poor countries results in a transfer of labor time between countries, allowing the citizens of some countries to consume more of the world's social labor than they have contributed. Capital movements across borders together with strong restrictions on the movement of people result in net exporters of capital exploiting (or benefiting from unequal exchange at the expense of) net capital importers. Under perfect competition, mutual benefits from free trade in goods and capital can coexist alongside unequal flows of revenue and labor in the world economy. Market imperfections and the open use of coercion are not necessary for international exploitation to emerge. However, they may be central for it to persist over time.

Keywords: Unequal exchange; class; capital flows; global economy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B51 C63 D63 F21 F54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme and nep-int
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