The visible hand in economics

Economics fiction writing

Posted on: July 26, 2007

It’s about a virtual world, similar to our own but slightly removed from it. It purports to have a set of rules that are internally consistent but has to constantly resort to ad hoc explanations for unusual behaviour. Yet, still, there is a lot of stuff that happens that is inexplicable within the rules of the universe and the powers that be tell us that we just have to accept that that’s the way it is.

So runs Megan McArdle’s critique of the new Harry Potter book. I agree with her but it didn’t spoil the book for me. Frankly, critiquing the economics of a book for essentially resembling the current state of the economics profession seems a bit rich to me.

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3 Responses to "Economics fiction writing"

Haha, good point. I think we could come up with a hypothetical model that would rationalize the harry potter universe. I heard somewhere that there are 5 things that magicians can’t create in that universe, one of which is food (they can teleport the food but it has to be made from somewhere). I wonder what the other things are. It’s supposed to be somewhere on http://www.jkrowling.com/, I’ll look later once I’ve finished with the interest rates today.

That reminds me of the discussions of economics in Star Trek – since replicators and other technology eliminate scarcity of many items.

I think the tradeable items identified were land, original creative works, live performances and sex (and we weren’t sure about the last two).

Hmmm, I wonder which one of those would act as currency?

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