International Economic Disorder: Essays in North-South by Gerald K. Helleiner (auth.)

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Forward selling to avoid the hazards of the seasonal decline in prices and to realise foreign exchange only aggravated the problem.... The problem could be mitigated if sufficient financing were available' (Avramovic, 1977, Annex A, 2) and if certain other marketing institutions and practices were improved. A high proportion of these market imperfections can undoubtedly be attributed to the relative poverty of the countries in which the most damaging 'imperfections' are found. Proposals for internationally financed and managed commodity buffer stocks abound, most recently in the form of the common fund proposal of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCT AD) to have several of them managed jointly.

Ironically (in view of the arguments in favour of the freer international mobility of labour presented above), reducing international mobility of labour of the limited type which residents of developing countries now enjoy would seem to be more conducive to the development of poor countries than the present system. ACCESS TO MARKET INFORMATION A second world market imperfection of probably major distri- WORLD MARKET IMPERFECTIONS 35 butional significance is the relative scarcity of market information in the developing countries.

It has been argued, for example, that a major reason for developing countries to develop their own refining facilities is the much greater degree of market competition and the greater availability of unambiguous price information in the market for refined metals and metal products than in that for unprocessed minerals. For example, 'there are only about a 38 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC DISORDER dozen independent copper smelters world-wide, prepared to buy copper concentrates from un integrated mines,' whereas 'the suppliers of refined copper metal in international trade have a great number of customers to choose between' (Radetzki, 1977, p.

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