Economics... in space!
March 5, 2014 5:18 PM Subscribe
I am looking for resources, online or in print, for how a society spanning many planets could function economically. I have read some novels that treat this matter seriously, but rarely in the level of detail that I am looking for.
posted by deathpanels to Work & Money (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Specifically, I am interested in things like knowing how valuable interstellar commodities would have to be to make interplanetary travel profitable. For example, let's say there's some heretofore unknown material on a planet in Alpha Centauri. Assuming humans have the capacity to travel to this planet, how valuable would the material have to be to be worth the expense of building and maintaining spacecraft to transport it? How would trade routes be established and controlled? (Entirely hypothetical, obviously, but that's just to give you an idea of what I'm looking for.)
My imagination is getting stuck trying to imagine how a space-faring civilization in the far future would profit, financially, from space exploration, beyond the usual noble causes like seeking out alien life etc. I'm pretty good at making up cultures and languages, but apparently not so great at making up economies! Are there resources you can recommend, or any novels that you know of that treat economics with the same attention to detail that is often given to language, culture, or technology? I'm holding out hope that some economics professor has written a non-fiction book or article about this topic at some point, but I'll also take any sf novels that handle their fictional economies especially well.
(Also note: While I'm not in love with hard sf, I would prefer that the material be based on real economic theories and scholarship instead of pure conjecture.)
(Yes, I am researching this for a novel.)