Monday, November 1

Harry Potternomics

I like movies based on reality (an aside: I wonder if this is typical of economists?). I never liked Star Wars, am not into the whole vampire trend that seems to have captivated Hollywood, and can't be bothered to read any of the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter books. I did see one of the Harry Potter movies, but only because a girl I was interested in wanted to see it.

Although I didn't appreciate the movie at the time, I'm now wondering if the Harry Potter series might be worth a read. Eric Gouvin, a law prof in New England, has published what sounds like a fascinating article about the parallels and differences between the banking system in Harry Potter and the banking system in the real world. According to a description of Gouvin's report, "[W]izards do not manage their money supply the way Muggles do by using the slight of hand of fractional reserve banking to create money out of thin air. Instead, the money supply in the wizard world seems stagnant, creating social problems that emphasize disparities in wealth."

I never knew that Harry Potter was so deep. The article is published as a chapter in The Law and Harry Potter — too bad it's not available at my local library.