The Ties That Bind Us

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Apr 23, 2010    •    622 Views

Although Nairobi and London are 4228 miles apart, they actually are closely connected. The NY Times described the tie that was cut by volcanic ash.

Kenyans supply gourmet vegetables and cut flowers to European supermarkets. When planes were grounded, so too were sugar snap peas, onions, and corn. Roses began to wilt and corn started to spoil. Daily shipments of two million pounds of produce were affected as were unneeded Kenyan packers and washers.

Other trade connections we might not know? Please comment.

The Economic Life

Perhaps here we have a connection between Adam Smith, David Ricardo, the U.K. and Kenya. In his Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith explains the virtues of mass production and the need for “distant sale” which can only be achieved through a transport infrastructure and many buyers. Kenya developed so large a horticultural export sector because cargo planes could connect it with large affluent markets. And here is where Ricardo enters the picture. Markets that interconnect nations facilitate even more efficiencies through economies of scale and comparative advantage


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