Vulnerable trade: The dark side of an Edgeworth box
We examine incentives to seize and defend goods offered for trade in an Edgeworth box economy. Appropriation possibilities generate equilibrium of coerced redistribution and voluntary trade in a reduced box. Potential mutual gains remain untaken because the prospect of piracy creates a price wedge, wherein the effective relative price is lowered for the exporter and raised for the importer. As the vulnerability of one or both goods increases, the price wedge widens, causing trade to diminish. If vulnerability becomes sufficiently high, then equilibrium with trade ceases to exist in the Edgeworth box economy.
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