David Ricardo is best known today for his pioneering articulation of the theory of comparative advantage -- the idea that trade is most mutually beneficial when

David Ricardo is best known today for his pioneering articulation of the theory of comparative advantage -- the idea that trade is most mutually beneficial when parties specialize according to their relative opportunity costs and then trade. But comparative advantage is only one part of Ricardo's extensive analyses of the determinants of rents and the distribution of income. He developed his ideas in the context of government restrictions on trade, first from blockades during the Napoleonic Wars and the Corn Laws that Parliament passed to restrict imports of grains into the UK.

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