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Trade in the Shadow of Power

Author

Listed:
  • Michelle R. Garfinkel

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Stergios Skaperdas

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Constantinos Syropoulos

    (Department of Economics and International Business, Drexel University)

Abstract

In this chapter, we examine how some of the main results in international trade theory fare when we abandon the traditional assumption of third-party enforcement of property rights. Without such enforcement, countries arm and exercise power to secure resources used in production or to secure the output from that production. Because arming is endogenous and takes scarce resources to produce, the production of final goods is also endogenous. Consequently, prices in either domestic or international markets reflect not only preferences, endowments or technologies of production as predicted by traditional models, but also arming and the power that comes from that. As we show in the context of a Ricardian model, those countries that produce the most socially valued goods tend to arm less, giving them a "comparative disadvantage" in power. Accordingly, the level of welfare obtained by these countries could be lower than that obtained in a competitive economy with perfect security. In the context of a Heckscher-Ohlin model, we find that free trade need not be preferred to autarky, as the costs of conflict or self-enforcement swamp the familiar gains from trade for a certain range of world prices. Finally, trade in the shadow of power can distort comparative advantage.

Suggested Citation

  • Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2010. "Trade in the Shadow of Power," Working Papers 101105, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:101105
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2008. "Globalization and domestic conflict," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 296-308, December.
    2. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó, 2011. "Workers, Warriors, And Criminals: Social Conflict In General Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 646-677, August.
    3. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-739, September.
    4. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2015. "Trade and insecure resources," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 98-114.
    5. Francis Bloch, 2009. "Endogenous formation of alliances in conflicts," Working Papers hal-00435387, HAL.
    6. Michael McBride & Gary Milante & Stergios Skaperdas, 2011. "Peace and War With Endogenous State Capacity," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(3), pages 446-468, June.
    7. Skaperdas, S. & Syropoulos, C., 1991. "The Distribution of Income in the Presence of Directly Unproductive Activities," Papers 12-91-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    8. Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1997. "The Distribution of Income in the Presence of Appropriative Activities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(253), pages 101-117, February.
    9. Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2001. "Guns, Butter, and Openness: On the Relationship between Security and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 353-357, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Bonfatti & Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2018. "Growth, Import Dependence, and War," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(614), pages 2222-2257, September.
    2. Bonfatti, Roberto & O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Growth, Import Dependence and War," CEPR Discussion Papers 10073, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade openness; Property rights; Interstate disputes; Conflict;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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