Economics and The Hunger Games
I have no excuse – no teenage daughter or son around the house to lure me into Suzanne Collins’ trilogy that starts with The Hunger Games. I read all three just for the fun of it. And now there is an interesting tie-in between the book/movie and economics; specifically how some countries prosper and others don’t.
Matthew Yglesias writes in Slate:
At first glance, the economic landscape depicted in Suzanne Collins’ best-selling Hunger Games trilogy doesn’t make much sense. Despite its post-apocalyptic condition, the fictional nation of Panem is quite technologically advanced. It has high-speed trains, hovercrafts, extraordinary genetic engineering capabilities, and the ability to create extremely advanced weapons. And yet Panem is also a society of tremendous economic inequality, with clear examples of absolute economic deprivation and even famine.
Most importantly, Yglesias refers to a much-quoted book, Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. These authors have some plain sense observations about how and why nations grow and prosper. We’ll look at those observations in more depth later.
Meanwhile, the Slate article is a good start, and an interesting connection to this weekend’s blockbuster movie.