Tag Archives: history of trade

That trading thing people do

Canadian economist Nick Rowe made a comment on a blog post on comparative advantage that bugged me: The way I teach it, all gains from trade come either from differences between people, like comparative advantage, or else from economies of scale. So I think gains from trade is not more basic than comparative advantage. Gains […]

Of copper, tin and iron

The Silk Age of Eurasian trade  may have begun around 220 BC, with the unification of China under imperial rule and the shift to cavalry driving up demand for horses, but trade over long distances began millennia before that. Copper arrives While there is evidence of long-distance trade even among foraging societies–ochre, for example, travelled thousands […]

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold … A post somewhat about China

Historically, taxing land (rents) and trade have been the dominant income sources of rulerships not reliant on labour service (not to be confused with taxes on labour income, which have a different dynamic).* Trade was a particularly attractive source of income because it often involved taxing outsiders. But trade was also mobile–too much tax for […]