‘Harry Potter’ has a bad market economy

A new study finds: The market economy in the world of “Harry Potter” is distorted. This is a problem because books and films have affected millions of young people around the world.

From an economic point of view, the wizarding world of “Harry Potter” is a failure – according to a new study published by Oxford University. Economists have examined the franchise and found that few things in the world of magic have commercial meaning.

But why do scientists take the time to study what happens in a fictional world? They do this to “evaluate the impact of books on business education.” Because they estimate that more than 7 percent of the world’s population has read the “Harry Potter” books, and millions more have seen movie adaptations. “These extraordinary numbers underscore the importance of the messages conveyed in books,” the study says.

Privilege shaped (subconsciously) the basic economic understanding of an entire generation—that was a problem.

In some examples, the authors complained that some things did not appear in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The study does not reveal whether these things did not actually exist in the magical world, or simply were not mentioned in the books because they are irrelevant to the plot.


In the Wizarding World of British author J.K. Rowling, there are three types of coins: golden galleon, silver sickle and bronze knut.

The golden galleon has the greatest value. It corresponds to 17 silver sickles, and a silver sickle is equal to 29 bronze knots.

Coins in “Harry Potter”.Photo: Harry Potter fandom

However, scientists say that this system is completely useless. Because the exchange rate is very complex and makes flexible pricing difficult. Researchers describe the fixed exchange rate as another problem. During the book “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” it was mentioned that along with inflation, the demand for silver is increasing because silver is used to make charms and required devices.

Furthermore it. People are not greedy enough. Researchers believe that gold galleons can easily be melted and sold to Muggles as pure gold. So magicians will make much more profit than depositing coins in the bank. But no one seems to have come up with this idea.

However, it must be borne in mind with these two points that it is not clear from the books or from Rowling’s statements whether the coins are pure precious metals or whether the coins are alloys.

The researchers say Gringotts (which has a monopoly on the center) is also a problem. Transactions are said to be inefficient as they require lengthy bureaucratic procedures and thus involve high transaction costs. Harry Potter, for example, withdraws money once before the start of classes, which he has to give all year.

technical development

According to the authors, there is little technical progress at Hogwarts. As we’re constantly taking advantage of new and improved technology, one thing that’s evolving at Hogwarts is a broom.

The superiority of Harry’s broom, Firebolt, has been mentioned many times. This is built to international standards and accelerates from 0 to 250 kilometers per hour in just ten seconds.

Hogwarts students in a broom plane lesson.

Hogwarts students in a broom plane lesson.Photo: Warner Bros Film GmbH

corrupt government

“Government in the world of Harry Potter is large, corrupt, and ineffective. It controls and regulates the production of all the important goods and services produced in the economy, including health, law, and education.

“The government in Harry Potter is big, corrupt, and ineffective.”

He goes on to say: “Government policies ensure economic stability, as in the Marxist model, meaning that in ‘Harry Potter’ there are no economic fluctuations and therefore all workers are employed at all times.” A criticism of the study at this point may be that Rowling has created unemployed witches – like the thief Mondungus Fletcher.

The study’s authors claim that the magical public knows very little about how government works, which makes corruption easy. The lack of information stems from the fact that witches only have one source of information: the newspaper the daily prophet.

The publisher has good relations with high-ranking officials and wealthy people. The study notes that “newspaper reporters disseminate information for the benefit of officials who in turn make decisions in favor of the reporters and wealthy magicians.”

trade and immigration

Witches can travel long distances easily and inexpensively – there are hardly any restrictions on international travel. However, the situation is different in retail. International trade is scarce, due to regulations protecting domestic producers, the authors wrote. In addition, prejudice against aliens and non-magers almost completely prevented dealing with and trafficking in Muggles.

The study continues, “However, some types of outside work are too lucrative to be tolerated.” This statement refers to the elves in the house who are used to heavy and dirty work.

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Dobby was a house elf.Photo: giphy

Although elves perform many useful services, they work in horrific conditions and almost without pay. They don’t even have their own clothes. However, they are diligent, work for years without interruption, accept the terms of slavery and are very afraid to be released, because unemployment for them means almost certain death.”


The books are about the education of Harry Potter and his friends. Education at the School of Magic is free for students. Rowling confirmed this in Twitter. The study authors argue that it is not clear whether taxes are levied in the Wizarding World. Therefore, the question arises of how to finance the school system.

Another point the authors criticize about education is that it is under the supervision of the Ministry of Magic and thus subject to the influence of politics. In “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” the government even interferes with the school curriculum. The curriculum has also not been revised for hundreds of years—and thus graduate knowledge has not evolved further, the authors wrote.


Because pottery economics is a mixture of different paradigms and worldviews, it is often inconsistent and contradictory. Summarization:

  • The government is corrupt but has popular support.
  • Money is made of precious metals, but its purchasing power has nothing to do with the value of its goods.
  • Witches value education, but they do not have institutions of higher learning like universities.
  • There are no taxes and the education is also free. How is the government funded?

“Furthermore, important aspects of real-world economy and society are missing from Potter’s model,” the study says. An important topic that is not brought up (except for the birthday party) is religion.

“Considering insights into the potential influence of popular literature on the opinions and opinions of readers [der «Harry Potter»-Bücher] They can influence and shape the public’s understanding of economic topics and issues.”

These various messages can lead to a distrustful citizen losing confidence in both market institutions and the authority of the government. The authors write: “The consequences may be indifference and disinterest, which should be worrisome.”


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