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In this article we study the performance of an economy that can support specialisation if the participants develop and follow some system of exchange. We define a closed economy in which the participants must discover the ability to exchange, implement it, and ascertain what they are comparatively advantaged in producing. Many of our participants demonstrate the ability to find comparative advantage, capture gains from trade and effectively choose production that is consistent with the choices of others. We explore various treatments to provide insight into the conditions that foster the growth of specialisation and exchange within this weak institutional framework.


This is the accepted version of the following article:

Crockett, Sean, Vernon L. Smith, and Bart J. Wilson. "Exchange and Specialisation as a Discovery Process*." The Economic Journal 119.539 (2009): 1162-1188.

which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2009.02254.x.

Peer Reviewed






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