Why Negotiating a Ransom Is the Trickiest Trade in the World

There are all sorts of reasons why markets break down. A lack of trust. Incomplete information. Divergent incentives. A lack of experienced actors. So it’s hard to imagine a trickier market than kidnapping. Emotions are running rampant. You know very little about your counterparty. And there’s no guarantee that anyone will stick to an agreement. On this week’s Odd Lots, we speak with Anja Shortland, who is the research group leader for Political Economy of Peace and Security at King’s College in London, about the economics of ransom payments, which she terms "the trickiest trade in the world." We talk about the role of kidnapping insurance and professional negotiators -- and the huge mistake that most cinematic depictions of kidnapping make.

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Running time 29:59

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