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It's Just Like Magic: The Economics of Harry Potter

20 Pages Posted: 31 May 2013 Last revised: 6 Jan 2017

Darwyyn Deyo

San Jose State University

Marta Podemska-Mikluch

Gustavus Adolphus College

Date Written: May 31, 2013


Do the laws of economics apply in the magical world of Harry Potter? Even though J.K Rowling placed her characters in a world of magic, wizards remain subject to the implications of scarcity. As a result, the series is abundant with examples of basic economic principles. Given the popularity of the series, its use in the classroom is likely to inspire students to adopt the economic way of thinking for life. We demonstrate the pedagogical potential of the series by providing illustrations of trade-offs and opportunity costs, marginal thinking, the power of incentives, and the benefits of trade and commerce.

Keywords: Edutainment, Harry Potter, Principles of Economics, Economic Pedagogy

JEL Classification: A11, A13, A22, D01, D7, D72

Suggested Citation

Deyo, Darwyyn and Podemska-Mikluch, Marta, It's Just Like Magic: The Economics of Harry Potter (May 31, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Darwyyn Deyo

San Jose State University ( email )

San Jose, CA 95192
United States

Marta Podemska-Mikluch (Contact Author)

Gustavus Adolphus College ( email )

800 West College Ave.
Saint Peter, MN Mn 56082
United States
(507) 933-6120 (Phone)
(507) 933-6120 (Fax)

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