What Harry Potter gets right — and wrong — about economics, starting with Gringotts Wizarding Bank – MarketWatch

by | Jul 21, 2022 | Financial

Top wizard Harry Potter inhabited a fascinating world that ran on gold galleon coins and Gringotts Wizarding Bank.  Given the series’ influence on readers across the world, economics professors Daniel Levy and Avichai Snir examined how author J.K. Rowling created the economic underpinnings of Potter’s world in a new study.

More than 7.3% of the world’s population has read Harry Potter books, the authors estimate, and millions more have seen the movies, which underscores the “importance of the messages” the series conveys, they said. Those messages have been spread over decades, and an entire generation has come of age with Rowling’s wizard world at their side. The first of the seven books was published in 1997; the first of eight movies was released in 2001, and a spinoff series, “Fantastic Beasts,” launched this year. But in a study published in the Oxford Open Economics, Levy and Snir found that while the series does impart readers with knowledge of what they called “folk economics,” when it comes to many of the “deeper aspects” of how the economy works in real life, the books give readers a skewed view. This could make young readers encountering the books leave with an inaccurate understanding of economics, the researchers said. (Folk economics refers to “the intuitive notions of naïve individuals who see market transactions as a zero-sum game,” the authors …

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