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Posts with tag free-market

The gold standard: A WoW economics course proposal

If you're like me, you're ... well, you're probably incredibly handsome and charming. But you're also probably interested in WoW's economy, given that it's the biggest and most involved metagame in WoW and a fascinating microcosm of a free-market economy.

I personally think that the how and why of WoW's economy is worth a deep look, and it appears there are a lot of people who agree with me--even some academics. It might even be worth just as much as any other book-learnin'.

At least, that's the basis of David Friedman's World of Warcraft economics course proposal. Friedman is an academic economist from San Jose, CA who's assembled this article as a think-tank for what a WoW economics course would entail if you had to fill it with a semester's worth of content. There's a lot of neat stuff in here, talking about relative prices of ore based on character level and rarity of ore and supply/demand, but he also asks for your input as to possible course material, which I'm sure you could gladly provide in the comments section of his page.

Good idea with sound academic basis, or another in the long list of high falootin' academia's attempts to justify playing WoW on the government's dime? WE REPORT. YOU DECIDE.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Economy, Making money

Buyer beware in the Auction House

After a player complains that they mistakenly paid 75g for wool cloth in the Auction House, Drysc confirms that Blizzard is all about caveat emptor: the auction house market is all about open trade, so if you buy something for the wrong price, it's all on you.

This, of course, leaves the system fairly open to rampant fraud -- I know someone on another server who would often buy anything epic on the AH, day in and day out, and inflate the price an extra thousand gold. In many cases, the free market (which I'm pretty sure this is, right economists?) can usually correct itself -- you have to stay on top of a certain market if you plan to dominate it, since if anyone posts a lower price than you, you'll lose out on a sale. But in terms of a fraud -- the original poster in the thread claims that no one would ever have a serious reason to sell wool for 75g -- it's always "be careful what you click." Blizzard isn't completely laissez-faire when it comes to the economy, of course; they control the flow of gold in all kinds of ways. But when it comes to the auction house, you're on your own.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Making money

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