Economics of the Undead

This is a project I’ve been working on, and I hope that some of ThinkMarkets’ readers (and bloggers) will consider contributing.

Call for Abstracts

Economics of the Undead:  Blood, Brains & Benjamins

Glen Whitman & James P. Dow, Editors

The editors seek abstracts for essays exploring the relationship between economics and the undead, especially zombies and vampires.  The chosen essays will appear in a collection to be published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Ideal contributions will use economic reasoning to address issues related to the undead, use the undead as a means of exploring economic thought, or both.  Abstracts and final essays should be written in an accessible and engaging style for a popular audience.  Contributions should also make relevant reference to the undead in pop culture, such as the Twilight saga, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the novels of Anne Rice, World War Z, the films of George Romero, True Blood, and The Walking Dead.

Possible topics include:  supply and demand in the market for blood; the operation of zombie labor markets; the political economy of responding to undead threats; macroeconomic recovery after a zombie apocalypse; what zombie and vampire behavior tell us about rational-choice modeling; etc.

Submission Guidelines:

1.      Send abstract of paper (100-500 words) in Word or compatible format.

2.      Include resumé/CV for each author.

3.      Submit by email to both and

4.      Submission deadline is 7 April 2013.

5.      For accepted abstracts, first drafts of essays will be due 15 July 2013.

Feel free to forward this to anyone with economics training or experience who might be interested in contributing.  Although we are only asking for abstracts at this time, if you have already written an unpublished article that fits the subject matter, you may submit the article in its entirely.

8 thoughts on “Economics of the Undead

  1. If I remember correctly (and seriously) there is an article in, I think, the JPE from the 1960s or 1970s on the “optimal rate of vampire killing.” At the margin, of course, the author concluded that the cost of completely wiping out vampires would exceed the benefit.

  2. Great topic! In the zombie genre its about binding resource constraints, adaptation, “life boat ethicas, and much, much more. Will try to get an abstract in by the deadline as the semester reaches crunch time ….

  3. I knew about that. It’s an ’82 JPE article titled “Macroeconomic Policy and the Optimal Destruction of Vampires”. So now I can’t write a quick article extending the analysis to zombies.


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