Minecraft Economics: A Study of Wealth Inequality in a Virtual World

8 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2018

See all articles by Calvin Blackwell

Calvin Blackwell

College of Charleston - School of Business

Jack Carroll

Clemson University

Date Written: May 25, 2018


We examine the hypothesis that capitalist economies generate inequality by looking at the distribution of wealth in a virtual world. Employing the sandbox video game Minecraft as an example of a “pure” market economy, we chose several Minecraft economy servers and collected their respective wealth data. We found these unregulated economies to have greater wealth inequality than any single nation's economy. These results suggest that market economies generate significant “natural” inequality, and that government policies are effective in moderating the inequality-inducing impact of capitalism.

Keywords: Inequality, Wealth, Gini Coefficient, Virtual Economy, Minecraft

JEL Classification: D31

Suggested Citation

Blackwell, Calvin and Carroll, Jack, Minecraft Economics: A Study of Wealth Inequality in a Virtual World (May 25, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3185048 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3185048

Calvin Blackwell (Contact Author)

College of Charleston - School of Business ( email )

Department of Economics
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424
United States
843-953-7836 (Phone)
843-953-5697 (Fax)

Jack Carroll

Clemson University ( email )

101 Sikes Ave
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

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