Arnold Kling  

Pre-historic free trade?

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Jason Shogren, Richard Horan, and Erwin Bulte argue that free trade contributed to humans' outcompeting Neanderthals.


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.

Thanks to Don Boudreaux for the pointer to the summary.

UPDATE: Perry Eidelbus gives this link. The paper has a high ratio of superfluous math to convincing evidence. Also, for more discussion, see Jackson Kuhl.


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The author at None of Your Business in a related article titled Pre-historic free trade? writes:
    An article on EconLog by Arnold Kling supposing there was Pre-historic free trade which helped early man become more successful than Neanderthal man was a fascinating read. ... [Tracked on March 31, 2005 1:03 AM]
The author at Mike Linksvayer in a related article titled Economic Neanderthals writes:
    What is wrong with this headline? Did Use of Free Trade Cause Neanderthal Extinction? See release at the U of Wyoming and a shorter version at Newswise and in Dutch, with pictures. Richard Horan, Erwin Bulte, Jason Shogren: "How trade saved huma... [Tracked on March 31, 2005 1:21 PM]
COMMENTS (1 to date)
Lawrance George Lux writes:

Nope. But I know from my History studies(I would have to dig out material from 20 years back) that Arrowheads have been found in Maine, which originated in southern Colorado. lgl

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