Believe and Obey

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Cigarettes as Money: The Economics of a POW Camp

You Can Learn from Any Situation

In honor of the Independence Day holiday, I am sharing an essay written about an economist named R.A. Radford.  Radford was a British POW during WWII.  Fortunately for us he was also an economist.  He wrote a fascinating essay about the economic organization of a POW camp.  In it he details the rise of cigarettes as money. The establishment of credit, and the effects of interventions in the operation of this market.  All in all, it was a fascinating examination of both economics, as well as human ingenuity and perseverance in a most difficult situation.

The observations of Radford confirm much of what we know about economics and market phenomena and makes for a great educational tool in understanding how markets, and particularly money, emerged.

This essay is a summary written in more modern language and serves to convey the essence of what Radford explained.  The original essay is here.  Enjoy!

Praise Be to God

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