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Edward Castronova is Associate Professor of Telecommunications at Indiana University Bloomington as of fall 2004, previously Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton. He obtained a BS in International Affairs from Georgetown University in 1985 and a PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991. In between, he spent 18 months studying German postwar reconstruction and social policy at universities and research institutes in Mannheim, Frankfurt, and Berlin. From 1991 to 2000, he worked as an Assistant and later Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at University of Rochester.
His works on synthetic worlds and their economies, and on EverQuest in particular, have attracted considerable attention. His paper on Norrath, a fictional planet in the EverQuest universe, Virtual Worlds: A First-Hand Account of Market and Society on the Cyberian Frontier (2001) is available on SSRN. It claims, for example, that Norrath has a Gross domestic product per capita somewhere between that of Russia and Bulgaria, higher than that of People's Republic of China and India, and that a unit of EverQuest currency is worth more than the Yen or Lira.
- Castronova, Edward. "Virtual Worlds: A First-Hand Account of Market and Society on the Cyberian Frontier," CESifo Working Paper No. 618, December 2001.
- Castronova, Edward. "On Virtual Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series No. 752, July 2002.
- Castronova, Edward. "The Price of 'Man' and 'Woman': A Hedonic Pricing Model of Avatar Attributes in a Synthethic World," CESifo Working Paper Series No. 957, June 2003.
- BBC News - Virtual gaming worlds overtake Namibia
- Norrath Economic Report Now Available - Slashdot.org on Castronova's report
- The Walrus Magazine: "On-line fantasy games have booming economies and citizens who love their political systems. Are these virtual worlds the best place to study the real one?"
- Castronova on the Arden project
- Article about Arden in the April 2008 Wired magazine
- Edward Castronova. Synthetic Worlds, University of Chicago Press (2005). ISBN 0-226-09626-2
- Edward Castronova. Exodus To The Virtual World