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Economic Quarterly

Spring 1995

When Geometry Emerged: Some Neglected Early Contributions to Offer-Curve Analysis

Thomas M. Humphrey

Pioneers of reciprocal-demand analysis aspired to “climb the rigging of geometry and spy out the heavens” of international trade theory. Accordingly, they deployed offer-curve geometry to derive key theorems on the gains from trade, the efficiency of free-trade equilibrium, the effects of tariffs and technical progress on the terms of trade, and the specification of the optimum rate of the tariff.

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