Saturday, June 18, 2005

Fantasy economics

No, this isn't a rant about the Bush administration.

My last post got me thinking about about the economics of fictional worlds. As Diana Wynn Jones points out in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (now sadly out of print in the US), "The Economy of Fantasyland is as full of holes as its ECOLOGY." Here are a few scenarios I'd like to see:

* Dragons hoard gold. This contracts the money supply, causing deflation.

* After a dragon is slain, its hoard gets spent, and there's a big inflationary shock.

* Thanks to their small size, hobbits have a competitive advantage in lace-making and other delicate crafts.

* House elves unionize (coming next month, "Dobby the Wobbly").

* After Jack returns from the Beanstalk, there's a speculative bubble in magic beans.


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