The existence of gains from trade is the essential point of this chapter and one reason that most economists favor fairly open trading policies. This is not to say that all economists agree on anything, but attitudes toward trade is one area where there is relatively wide agreement.     As long as two potential trading partners face different opportunity costs, gains from trade exist. As we noted in the previous section, this is true even if one of the producers has an absolute advantage in all areas of production.

    We will illustrate this idea graphically, though the principle is quite simple. If each trading partner specializes in production of the good in which she has a comparative advantage, trade will make it possible for each producer to attain outputs that lie outside their Production Possibilities, which means they can attain outputs that would be impossible to achieve without trade. The same logic applies to most productive enterprises. In most businesses the attempt is made to give duties to employees so that they can specialize in their area of comparative advantage. We'll use Jeff and Jenn to illustrate how specialization and trade lead to gains for both.

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