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Human Capital and Economic Growth in the Potterian Economy

  • Avichai Snir
  • Daniel Levy

In this paper, we analyze the economic structure of the world of wizards as depicted in the Harry Potter books, which we term Potterian economy, and offer an economist's perspective on it. We look at the economic structure of the life of Harry Potter and his co-actors as an economic model that governs the social organization of their economic activities. Our goal is to study and understand the internal consistency of the Potterian economic model and explore the relationships between its assumptions and the situation in the real world, as reflected in the Potterian model. To accomplish this, we focus on a textbook version of Solow's economic growth model, which economists often use for studying the process of nations' income determination and which serves as a standard benchmark for comparative economic growth studies. The analysis of the Potterian economy reveals that the Potterian model fits quite well the predictions of the economic growth model. We discuss potential implications of this finding, and explore the link between Potterian economic structure and performance in a broader context by discussing the link between economic institutions and economic outcomes.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0702.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0702
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://economics.emory.edu/home/journals/
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  1. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1984. "Why Was British Growth So Slow During the Industrial Revolution?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(03), pages 687-712, September.
  2. Mokyr, Joel, 1992. "Technological Inertia in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(02), pages 325-338, June.
  3. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages F632-F652, November.
  4. Volker Nitsch, 2000. "National borders and international trade: evidence from the European Union," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1091-1105, November.
  5. Daniel Levy, 2005. "Output, Capital, and Labor in the Short, and Long-Run," Development and Comp Systems 0505012, EconWPA.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Hillman,Arye L., 2009. "Public Finance and Public Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521494267.
  8. Andrew T. Young & Daniel Levy & Matthew J. Higgins, 2004. "Many Types of Human Capital and Many Roles in U.S. Growth: Evidence from County-Level Educational Attainment Data," Working Papers 2004-05, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  9. Paul M. Romer, 1987. "Crazy Explanations for the Productivity Slowdown," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 163-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Avichai Snir & Daniel Levy, 2005. "Popular Perceptions and Political Economy in the Contrived World of Harry Potter," Working Papers 2005-05, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  11. Eicher, Theo S, 1996. "Interaction between Endogenous Human Capital and Technological Change," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 127-44, January.
  12. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  13. Mui, V.L., 1992. "The Economics of Envy," Papers 9306, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  14. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
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