Krugman on Interstellar Trade

14 September 2010 at 5:17 pm 8 comments

| Lasse Lien |

You may disagree with Paul Krugman, but you cannot deny that he’s dealing with really, really big issues. Here is the abstract from his most recent paper:

This article extends interplanetary trade theory to an interstellar setting. It is chiefly concerned with the following question: how should interest charges on goods in transit be computed when the goods travel at close to the speed of light? This is a problem because the time taken in transit will appear less to an observer traveling with the goods than to a stationary observer. A solution is derived from economic theory, and two useless but true theorems are proved. (JEL F10, F30)

The full reference and the paper can be found here. The next step is to extend Krugman’s work to intergalaxy trade and wormholes in spacetime.

Entry filed under: - Lien -, Papers.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joshua Gans  |  14 September 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I think you should check but that paper was written in the 1970s. Just took a while to be published.

  • 2. gabrielrossman  |  14 September 2010 at 5:38 pm

    wow, just consider the possibilities of general relativity for justifying tariffs under infant industry theory

  • 3. Lasse  |  14 September 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Joshua, In order to know “when” it was written I need to know the relative speed of the author, the journal and myself.

  • 4. FC  |  14 September 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Krugman was inspired to become a social scientist by Isaac Asimov’s “Psychohistory.”

    Someone who preferred to read Robert Heinlein and Poul Anderson should offer an Austrian/New Institutional approach to interstellar economics.

  • 5. k  |  14 September 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Sir, that paper belongs with honors to the Postmoperiscope

  • 6. Milton Recht  |  14 September 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Free w/o registration, Krugman’s 1978 paper on Interstellar trade.

    On his Princeton website:

    On Scribd:

  • 7. Peter Klein  |  15 September 2010 at 12:13 am

    I always thought Krugman’s ideas were out of this world. . . .

  • 8. Rafe  |  16 September 2010 at 12:58 am

    Is Krugman the most brilliant economist in the world, or the solar system, or the whatever comes next, or maybe the whole universe? Look forward to his guest appearance on Futurama.

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