The Supply Curve of Viking Raids
The new exhibition on the Vikings at the British Museum illustrates behavior along supply curves. The local Anglo-Saxons decided that the best way to keep Viking raiders at bay was to buy them off—to pay tribute. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this extra payoff merely induced a movement up the supply curve of Viking raids, as more raiding parties realized that there was money to be made by raiding English villages. Perhaps this is a lesson for modernity: don’t negotiate with terrorists!