J. K. Rowling has created worlds and stories that are beloved around the globe. Many children are familiar with the Harry Potter stories. However, they might not know that these stories teach them about economics. J. K. Rowling may never have meant to include these lessons in Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Gold. A book about a boy named Harry Potter, which is the first in the series, tells of how he defeated the most powerful wizard after he had killed his parents. Nobody knows the details of Harry Potter’s victory over Voldemort. They just know that he did. Harry was gifted by some wizard’s close to the Potters (Aka. Non-magical people) Aunt and uncle, who were not interested in magic and disliked the Potter’s because they were different. Harry is admitted to Hogwarts school and magic when he turns 18. He also learns his parents left him money so he can live at school. He has suffered terrible from his muggle family. He learns about spells, monsters, and witches at school. He also encounters Voldemort.
How does Harry Potter tie in with economics? It is actually very similar to concepts discussed in chapter 3. The Macro Economy of Today discusses supply and demand and how a market can be weighed. Harry Potter illustrates the concept of factor markets. These markets deal with the factors of product and market. Schiller defines “the most sought-after goods and services that have to be sacrificed in order for something else” as opportunity cost. There are two examples of opportunity loss in The Sorcerer’s Stone. Harry Potter lives in the home of his aunt Dursley, his uncle Dursley, and their son Dudley. Dudley, Harry’s best friend, is preferred to Harry in their home. Harry sleeps on the floor in a small cupboard. Dudley is in his own bedroom. Dudley gets whatever the Dursley’s want. Dudley gets more presents for his birthday because they are upset that the presents he received last year are less. Dudley doesn’t see the value of opportunity cost. His parents buy Dudley whatever they want. He doesn’t value the things he gets because of this. Harry Potter looks at Dudley’s toys room.
Nearly everything was damaged. Dudley had once run over the dog of his neighbor. Dudley found the camera on top a small, functioning tank. Dudley lived across the corner from his first ever TV set.
Dudley will ultimately be hurt by his inability to see that toys can have an opportunity price. He doesn’t know that his parents have limited resources. Soon, Dudley will have nothing but broken toys. Harry Potter is adamant about the opportunity cost. He is aware that he will be punished if he behaves badly as the Dursley’s would prefer. Harry must go with Dudley to stay with his babysitter for Dudley’s birthday. Harry is not allowed to go with the babysitter so the Dursley’s take him to the zoo. His uncle and aunt threaten Harry to keep him from leaving his cabinet if something goes wrong at zoo. Harry makes an error and makes the exhibit glass disappear. The Dursley’s then lock him in his closet for many weeks. Harry realizes that he is responsible for any actions that are not intended or made by him.
Harry Potter received all of the determinants necessary to satisfy his demand for money after he was given it. After he receives his inheritance, he can fulfill the requirements. Harry didn’t have this ability until now. Harry displays the ability to decide his own taste by buying a golden cauldron. He is dissuaded from purchasing the item, so he instead purchases a pewter cauldron. However, he also shows taste in buying a finer set of scales or a telescope. These items are what he chooses over other. Harry’s inheritance will be his income. His gold coins will fulfill his determinant. His desire to buy a pewter cauldron and gold cauldron are both signs that he has fulfilled the determinant for other goods. The expectation determinant is fulfilled. Harry believes that he will be very poor and only have enough money to purchase the essentials. Harry’s expectations are changed when he realizes how much money he actually has. He anticipates being able to purchase more expensive versions of items in his inventory. While his caretaker may disappoint him with some items, others fulfill his expectations. There are many buyers. Harry and another wizard boy are seen making purchases in a shop. Harry also observes the busyness of the shops, which shows Harry’s demand for certain items.
Harry Potter finally receives a acceptance letter to Hogwarts. In this letter, he learns how to use demand and find markets. Schiller states that “a market exists whenever and wherever an exchange takes place.” He also says that demand is the ability or willingness to purchase a specific quantity of a good at different prices within a time period (Schiller 48). This market is for Harry Potter in the wizard world, where his parents left him a substantial inheritance. This provides Harry with demand in the market for wizard products. It is particularly popular in Diagon Alley for Hogwarts students to shop for their school supplies. Harry is now able to make better purchasing decisions than ever before. Harry finally has the money to purchase a golden cauldron. However, his caretaker doesn’t allow him to because it isn’t the cauldron on the supply-list. Harry does however receive a nicer set, including a telescope and scales. He couldn’t purchase the cauldron of his choice (Rowling 81). Harry was able trade from the market, and it also shows that there is demand. Harry encounters only a product-market. Schiller defines product markets as “anyplace that finished goods and services (products), can be bought and sold.” Harry is able to enter a clothing, pet, and apothecary store. These places indicate a demand and supply for wizards who can make purchases.
It also mentions the possibility of substituting goods or complementary goods, where some goods can be purchased in the same place. Schiller defines substitute goods as goods that can replace each other. “Complementary goods are goods commonly consumed together; when good x is more expensive, the demand y will fall, ceteris Paribus.” “Substitute good” refers to goods that are used in substitution of one another. Both items can be used as substitutes because they serve the same purpose. The apothecary sells Harry potion ingredients, scales, and other items. These are complement goods. They can be used only if there is a container to hold them. Because the cauldron is not as important, the demand will decrease (Rowling 82-1).
It is clear that Harry Potter illustrates the economic elements in supply and demand. While he begins with low demand and high opportunity costs, he eventually sees more demand and lower opportunity costs. It meets the requirements of demand and shows that there is enough supply to fulfill Harry’s needs. Harry Potter is a good example of a well-developed economy. Only if the readers would have known.
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