Template:Infobox Game Poleconomy is a board game invented by New Zealander Bruce E. Hatherley[1] and first published in 1983.[2][3][4] It is similar to Monopoly but the board is divided into companies rather than properties.[3] Players compete to acquire properties and investments through stylized economic and political activity. An object of the game is "to teach players some of the fundamentals of economics, and the ways in which the economy and the government interact."[5] Different editions were published for several different countries. The name Poleconomy is a portmanteau of "politics" and "economy".[6]


Poleconomy was invented by Bruce Hatherley, a New Zealander from Christchurch who was living in Sydney at the time.[7] He first filed a US patent claim for it in January 1981.[1] It was published in 1983, first in an Australian edition, then a New Zealand edition. The New Zealand edition was produced by Tanner Couch and Robyn Larsen sold the squares on the board as advertising space to the actual companies represented. The New Zealand Stock Exchange was involved with the launch in Auckland.[7] It was also published by World Games.[2]

Hatherley contacted Canadian think tank the Fraser Institute to help introduce the game to Canada in 1983. Michael Walker, an employee of the Institute, sold the first squares as advertising and the rest were sold by stock brokers, who had little other work because of a recession at the time. More than a million dollars was raised by the Institute and Poleconomy was credited with helping the Institute survive the recession.[5]

It was later sold in South Africa and the United Kingdom in other localised versions.[2][4] More than 1.5 million copies of Poleconomy have been sold internationally, incorporating the participation of 260 major corporate sponsors who leased advertising space in the separate national versions.[8] US patent 4,522,407 was granted for the game in 1985.[1]

The gameEdit

Players compete to acquire properties and investments through stylized economic and political activity. This involves the purchase of real-world companies and advertising using artificial money. The players take turns moving around the board via the roll of the dice, landing on the gameboard squares and carrying out instruction according to the square's contents or player decision.

The game is unusual in its mirroring of real-world businesses for which it has licenses to use their trademarks. It also illustrates how political events such as government decisions and taxation affect the economy. The players take turns at being the Prime Minister or President through elections. Once in power they have the ability to dictate the levels of inflation and so increasing or decreasing rents for property owners. If a player cannot cover their rent, the debt is written off and they can continue, receiving a government salary; no-one becomes bankrupt. According to the rules the game ends when the central bank runs out of money.[3]

Enterprise Australia sponsored the game to "improve understanding of the free enterprise system" among schoolchildren, and sold over 100,000 copies.[9][10] The introduction to the rules of the New Zealand version quotes Enterprise New Zealand, "The game reflects the way industry, finance and government interact when private enterprise operates within a system of parliamentary democracy."[3]

Companies featured in the gameEdit

New Zealand Edition Canadian Edition
Company Advertising Company Publicite
DRG Permaglide Crane Pentax
Mitsubishi Forklifts Sellotape I.P. Sharp Associates Global Television Network
Armourguard Pakatoa Island Bombardier Central Trust
Anchor Nylex [1] Molson Iona
Mount Cook Line Decrabond William Mercer Limited Avco Financial Services
Van Camp Amalgamated Marketing Ltd Allied Van Lines Limited Edmonton Oilers
Tux Air New Zealand Penmans Canada Wynn's
NZ Forest Products Team McMillan Ford Maple Leaf Mills Loblaws Companies Limited
Europa Stewart Wrightson Ltd Kaufman Footwear Lepage
Hallmark Pizza Hut Dynamic Funds Teleglobe Canada
Hertz Kiwi Bacon Fraser Institute[11] Cheerios
IBM Dulux Midland Bank Canada Caldwell Luxury Towels
ICI Marac Kraft Golden
NZIG Mitre 10 Delta Hotels Actualite Newsmagazine
Watties Heylen Research Centre Neilson Texmode Fashion Sheets
Whitcoulls Choysa Dow Chemical Canada Scott
Reidrubber Amco Victor
Donaghys Hylin Laundry Services CP Air
Lucas Service Ralta Ikea
Winstone Atlantic and Pacific travel Esso
Network consultants David Ingram's CENTRA
Northern United Building Society
Heylen Research Centre
New Zealand Times


External linksEdit