1st Edition

Dystopia and Economics A Guide to Surviving Everything from the Apocalypse to Zombies

    100 Pages
    by Routledge

    100 Pages
    by Routledge

    Government collapsing? Zombies hunting you down? Everyone you know killed by a global epidemic? Not to worry! Economics holds the keys to survival. Often known as "the dismal science", it is particularly equipped to reveal order in what seems like chaos.

    Economists observe human behaviour: what leads us to take action, and the subsequent consequences. However, the choices made by individuals are not made in isolation; they influence and are influenced by the actions of others. A set of rules, even if unwritten, guides human behaviour. Foundational economic principles stand firmly in place, even when society is breaking down, and an understanding of these basic tenets of societies is essential to surviving the end of the world as we know it.

    In this book, the authors draw from popular culture to show economic principles at work in the dystopian societies depicted in The Walking Dead, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hunger Games, Divergent, A Clockwork Orange, and Last Man on Earth. In each society, its members face resource and social constraints that incentivize particular behaviours and lead to predictable outcomes. How does human behaviour change when resources are severely limited, the legal system breaks down, or individual freedom is stifled? The examples presented here shed an eerie light on the principles that guide our actions every day.

    Dystopia and Economics: A Guide to Surviving Everything from the Apocalypse to Zombies provides a user-friendly introduction to economics suitable for a general audience as well as devoted students of the discipline.

    1. Introduction Charity-Joy Acchiardo & Michelle Albert Vachris

    2. Divergent Economics: The Divergent series (2014-2016) Samuel R. Staley

    3. "That’s mine! - Property rights among the Walking Dead": The Walking Dead (2010- ongoing) Tawni H. Ferrarini

    4. "Last Man on Earth Rules!": The Last Man on Earth (2015- ongoing) Charity-Joy Acchiardo

    5. Economics in the Hunger Games: The Hunger Games (2012-2015) Brian O’Roark

    6. Mad Max: Traveling the Fury Road to Learn Economics: Mad Max Fury Road (2015) G. Dirk Mateer and Michelle Albert Vachris

    7. "What’s in it for the Hippo?": Elysium (2013) Theo Shamoun

    8. Choice, Liberty, and Repression in A Clockwork Orange: A Clockwork Orange (1962/1971) Wayne Geerling


    Charity-Joy Revere Acchiardo is a Lecturer of Economics at the University of Arizona. She is a frequent speaker at teaching workshops across North America and Europe where she shares tips for making economics come alive for students. Her research has been published in leading economic education journals and she serves on the advisory board for the Journal of Economics Teaching.

    Michelle Albert Vachris is Professor of Management, Business, and Economics at Virginia Wesleyan University. Before arriving at VWU she taught economics at Christopher Newport University where she holds the rank of Professor Emerita and worked as an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Her publications include articles and book chapters on Public Choice economics, teaching pedagogy and economics in literature.