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March 29, 2005
More Hurrahs For Free Trade
Creating a new kind of caveman economics in their published paper, they argue early modern humans were first to exploit the competitive edge gained from specialization and free trade. With more reliance on free trade, humans increased their activities in culture and technology, while simultaneously out-competing Neanderthals on their joint hunting grounds, the economists say.
Archaeological evidence exists to suggest traveling bands of early humans interacted with each other and that inter-group trading emerged, says Shogren. Early humans, the Aurignations and the Gravettians, imported many raw materials over long ranges and their innovations were widely dispersed. Such exchanges of goods and ideas helped early humans to develop “supergroup social mechanisms.” The long-range interchange among different groups kept both cultures going and generated new cultural explosions, Shogren says.
Pretty cool. Moving to a more modern example, the Dallas Fed reviews recent economic successes in Mexico, putting free trade front and center:
The success of Mexican macroeconomic policy can be seen in the course of recent history. Together with the North American Free Trade Agreement and the opening of Mexican markets to trade, it contributed to the rapid recuperation of the Mexican economy after 1994–95. And it was essential in limiting the 2001 Mexican downturn to a mild recession, a landmark in a country where every downturn of the prior 30 years had been accompanied by a financial crisis.
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