Where have the consumers gone? At Terra Nova, virtual world economist Edward Castronova posts a big-picture suggestion that we might be experiencing the first "Exodus economy" - the point, because existing macro-economic data measures "real-world" exchanges, at which the migration to virtual goods and services has a real impact on the economic recovery, or our perception of it, simply because too much economic activity has gone "off the books."
As Castronova suggest, his migratory suggestion is certainly a departure from the broadly Keynesian or monetarists models inherited by macro-economists since the end of the second world war. Fair enough. Given the impotence of those models to predict what was a near banking and economic collapse in 2008, it couldn't be much worse.