Trade = peace? | Bleader

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Trade = peace?

Posted By on 11.11.06 at 07:22 AM

Economist Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek worries about protectionism:

"Many newly elected Democrats oppose both war and free trade. They should avoid this inconsistency. Research -- especially by Solomon Polachek -- finds that trade promotes peace. Commerce unites people economically (it's bad for the bottom line to kill your customers) and culturally (trade with foreigners demands that you better understand them and that they better understand you)."

From the abstract of the downloadable 95-page paper (PDF) cited: "A doubling of trade leads to a 20-percent diminution of belligerence. This result is robust under various specifications, and it is upheld when adjusting for causality using cross-section and time-series techniques." As far as I can tell, this is a discussion paper and has not yet been published in an actual journal.

 

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