Do you want pirates? Because this is how you get them…

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From Forbes:

In the 1500s, Chinese imperial officials tried to Make China Great Again – or at least solidify their control over the empire – by vigorously prohibiting international trade. One of the unintended consequences? Increases in pirate raids on coastal cities. This 16th-century Chinese example shows us how people responded to trade restrictions specifically and how they respond to changing returns to productive and predatory activity more generally.

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A 2014 study published in the Journal of Economic History by James Kai-Sing Kung of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Chicheng Ma of Shandong University tells the story statistically. Between 1550 and 1567, when the Chinese government cracked down on illegal foreign trade, the number of pirate attacks increased from about one per year to about thirty…

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