Great Lines in Economics, Everquest Edition

From the abstract to “Virtual Worlds: A First Hand Account of Market and Society on the Cyberian Frontier“, a December 2001 paper by economist Edward Castranova, this gem:

In March 1999, a small number of Californians discovered a new world called “Norrath”, populated by an exotic but industrious people. About 12,000 people call this place their permanent home, although some 60,000 are
present there at any given time. The nominal hourly wage is about USD 3.42 per hour, and the labors of the people produce a GNP per capita somewhere between that of Russia and Bulgaria.

Norrath, for those not in the know, is the land where the online massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) Everquest take place. For reference, Bulgaria’s GNP per capita in 2000 was $5,560; Russia’s was $8010 (source, Bureau of the Census 2002, L/N). Castranova’s paper is currently the second most downloaded economics paper on SSRN.

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