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News Link • Free Trade

A Solipsist's Guide to Comparative Advantage

• EconLib / Bryan Caplan

Of course, solipsism is false.  But we two solipsists can still teach the world a lesson.  Namely: in a deep sense, trade increases productivity:

 

Without Trade

With Trade

 

Wheat

Steel

Wheat

Steel

You

10

1

10

10

Me

1

5

5

5

You might object, "We already know that trade increases productivity via shared knowledge, increasing returns, etc."  But these are all empirical claims.  My point is stronger: Trade tautologically increase productivity.  And if a solipsist can see this, so should everyone.

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