Lessons from the Pokéconomy: Teaching Economics with Pokémon GO

Posted: 17 Oct 2016

See all articles by Susan Reilly

Susan Reilly


Kim Holder

University of West Georgia

Date Written: August 2, 2016


Pokémon GO burst onto the gaming scene in early July 2016. Within twenty-four hours it was listed as the most popular gaming app ever released and by the end of the first week the game had accrued an estimated twenty-five million daily active users. The visibility and sudden prominence of the Pokémon GO mobile gaming application provided a unique teaching opportunity for economics educators. The game can be used to teach a variety of economic concepts at the university-level and within the K-12 classroom environment. Among these are lessons of scarcity, opportunity cost, cost/benefit analysis, incentives, marginal utility, human and financial capital, natural resources, public goods, private goods, competition, specialization, and the tragedy of the commons. This paper provides a brief overview of the game and describes how instructors can use Pokémon GO to teach key economics concepts to students.

Keywords: Pokémon GO, economics, mobile gaming

JEL Classification: A20

Suggested Citation

Reilly, Susan and Holder, Kim, Lessons from the Pokéconomy: Teaching Economics with Pokémon GO (August 2, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2852465

Kim Holder

University of West Georgia ( email )

1601 Maple Street
Carrollton, GA 30118
United States
678-839-5423 (Phone)

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