Simple Economics of Real-Money Trading in Online Games

28 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2008 Last revised: 2 Sep 2008

Date Written: August 31, 2008


This paper is to provide a theoretical investigation on real-money trading (RMT) observed frequently in online games. To complement former studies focused much on irregularity of transaction itself, economic incentives behind RMT are modeled and identified by reconsidering related economic studies. First, RMT is analyzed by economic incentives of online game players. Second, economic impacts of RMT are explored in the context of network externalities. Third, welfare implication with respect to game servicing firm and players is addressed in a dynamic context. Fourth, two issues of RMT, gold farming and micro-payment, are shortly addressed as mini-cases for the analysis.

Keywords: real-money trading, network externalities, online games, gold farming, micro-payment

JEL Classification: D62, L14, Z19

Suggested Citation

Huhh, Jun-Sok, Simple Economics of Real-Money Trading in Online Games (August 31, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Jun-Sok Huhh (Contact Author)

KISDI ( email )

JuAm-Dong 1-1
Gwacheon, GyeongGi-Do 427-710
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics