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Geography and Social Networks in Nascent Distal Exchange

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Abstract:

We design an experiment to explore how geography shapes exchange between spatially distant markets and hypothesize that geographical isolation of traveling intermediaries from stationary sources of production creates social isolation that hinders trade. We characterize our economies with a system of equations derived from Adam Smith: exchange drives specialization, which in turn fuels more exchange, the coupling of which increases welfare. Measures of sociality and the extent of social network exploitation significantly contribute to improved efficiency. We further find that those economies which are the wealthiest are also the most equitable.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1628/093245611797215503

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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    From 2013 on all accepted articles are published in an Online First version (in their final layout) to make them searchable and citable by their DOI immediately after peer review and acceptance. Once the article is published in an issue of the journal, the Online First version will be removed.

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