Abstract

Could society, economically, be better left to its own unregulated devices? This study exists to determine whether the economy of a virtual world existing inside of a video game follows a known economic model applicable from real life; and if so, how these correlations can be evaluated to find whether intervention and oversight is necessary, or if an economy with only the direct impact of the player base can be functional and efficient, if not better than currently regulated markets. For this, economic data for the entirety of the economy, US-Akama(H), was compiled and analyzed. Nine individual markets and four baskets of goods were mapped for the duration of the study and compared to known models. The analyzed data showed a low correlation between the functionality of the virtual data and known models for all but a few of the observed markets. While the more competitive markets, with larger quantities of goods placed on the auction house, were more stable, the overall performance of individual goods were highly unstable and inefficient. This trend continued when observing the entirety of the economy, and mapping the gross domestic product of the server, which showed a negative growth and an unstable future.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2013

Mentor

John F. R. Harter

Department/Professional Affiliation

Government and Economics

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Department

Government and Economics

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)

13-066

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